#FREEBIE Alert: The Du Lac Devil by @maryanneyarde April 15 – 18th! #HistoricalFantasy #IARTG


the-du-lac-devil-10-august-2016-kindle

 

Title: The Du Lac Devil (Book 2 of The Du Lac Chronicles)

Author: Mary Anne Yarde

Genre: Historical Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

The Award-Winning series ~ The Du Lac Chronicles, continues:

 

War is coming to Saxon Briton.

 

As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs.

 

Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.

 

Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lac must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.

 

Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war?

 

Excerpt:

“I didn’t mean to offend,” the monk said with compassion. “I simply wanted you to have this,” he handed the crucifix to Merton. “There is always a way back. Remember, Jesus looks for the lost sheep, not the ones who are all ready part of the congregation.”

 

Merton took the cross and rubbed his fingers lightly over the rough wood. “Thank you,” he said, raising his eyes to look at the boy. It was unusual for a man of the cloth to speak to him, they all feared the demon inside him would jump out and devour them whole. “What’s your name?”

 

“Sampson,” the boy replied instantly. “It is never too late to repent,” he continued, unperturbed at speaking to one who was so actively shunned. “Forgiveness is given to those who seek it.”

 

Merton looked back towards his brother. Budic had slumped in the chair, his head in his hands. Merton’s grey eyes clashed with Josephine’s blue ones, and the memory of a past love swept over him. He made himself look away. Some things were better forgotten. “Maybe Jesus should concentrate on the sheep that willingly follow him and leave the rest of us to the wolves.” He handed the crucifix back. “I don’t want it,” he added quietly.

 

The boy shook his head in disagreement. “You don’t understand. I can rid you of the demon inside. I know how to make them leave your body,” he spoke with confidence, his eyes sparkling with determination.

 

“Practice your skills on someone else,” Merton replied. “But thank you for the offer,” he added when he saw the disappointment in the boy’s eyes. “I do not deserve or want absolution.”

 

“We need to go, come on,” Alden stated, it was bad enough hearing the rumours of what Merton had become, he would not stand and listen to his brother condemn himself as well.

 

The boy watched them leave.

 

“There are some demons that are too powerful, even for you,” the Abbot said, placing his hand on the boy’s thin shoulder. “Stay away from Merton du Lac.”

 

“He needs my help,” the monk argued. “I thought it was our responsibility to bring the word of God to everyone, regardless of what they have done. Does that not apply to him?”

 

“He knows the word of God, but he has chosen to ignore it and now we must ignore him. You can not save everyone.” The Abbot squeezed his shoulder and then walked back towards the coffin.

 

“I will save you, Merton du Lac,” Sampson whispered the promise. “As God is my witness, I will.”

 

freebie alert

 

Buy Links:

FREE April 15 – 18, 2017!

 

Amazon US

https://www.amazon.com/Du-Lac-Devil-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01N0FW1RU

 

Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N0FW1RU

 

Mary Anne Yarde Head Shot

 

Author Biography:

Mary Anne Yarde is the Award Winning author of the International Best Selling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles. Set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Briton and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, The Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed.
Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury–the fabled Isle of Avalon–was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter ~  https://twitter.com/maryanneyarde

Facebook ~  https://www.facebook.com/maryanneyarde/

Goodreads ~ https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15018472.Mary_Anne_Yarde

Blogs ~ http://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/

http://marybookreview.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Meet @RobShackleford and his New Release, Traveller Inceptio #books #SFF #amreading


 Rob_Shackleford_1

 

As many of you know, I love reading historical fiction. The reason? I love learning about history through the eyes of people who experienced it.  History comes alive, if well-researched and well-written. I first met Rob Shackleford a few months ago and was instantly intrigued. I convinced him to sit down with me for an honest interview. I’d ask some pretty tough questions and he’d have to answer them. It’s my great pleasure to introduce Rob Shackleford to the POTL Blog. Please give him a warm welcome. Take it away, Rob:

 

What is your writing process?

Perhaps the most important part of my process is research. My story involves detailed descriptions of the English Saxon world of around 11th Century. It also involves the Special Forces troops who are sent there. This has meant intensive research into both areas, ie History and the military. When it came to the 11th Century Saxon community, I had to learn what they ate, what were their attitudes to religion, what their homes were like, how they dressed, even their attitudes towards sex. Everything had to be researched to make the story stand up to any sort of scrutiny, especially scholarly scrutiny. Only then can the story be told with any degree of reliability.

 

Once the research was completed in the areas I targeted, the story could unfold. Many times I discovered I was writing the narrative in a direction I didn’t realise it would take. That then required more research. In my attempt to make the story as realistic as possible, the story involved some surprising developments, that is, it was surprising to me.

 

Once the story was told, I went back to rewrite, to improve grammar, description, and then develop speaking parts, which allowed for more character development and fine tuning of the events in the story.

 

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

I have always enjoyed the mind-broadening aspects of great science fiction works, so some of the classic authors such as H. G. Wells, Arthur Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Frank Herbert are just a few of the many who allowed me to submerge into bold new worlds and ideas. I have grown to better appreciate the difference between great storytelling from authors such as Stephen king, to true wordsmiths who paint a portrait with their breathtaking language, one who comes to mind is Yann Martel for the Life of Pi.

 

Other inspirations are found in islands of Robert Louis Stevenson, the humour of Mark Train, the insight of George Orwell, the razor-sharp social commentary of Jack Kerouac, to name but a few authors who changed the world.

 

I would be remiss not to mention J. K. Rolling and her epic Harry Potter tales, a legend in market adaptation and commercial success.

 

While I feebly aspire to develop my own creative writing skills, I opt to be a story teller, hopefully a great one. One day, I hope the two will merge.

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Being an author is a tough gig. It takes time and lots of dedication. Most of all it takes belief in yourself, which can be the most challenging task of all. Think of it as a professional sportsperson. Sometimes one is discovered and shoots to the top of the charts, but most of the time any success is through the good, old fashioned hard slog. Even then, luck, or shall I say good fortune, is a part of being discovered.

 

Like most of the arts today, such as the music industry, or art, the process is so much tougher, so much longer. The days of million-dollar first book contracts are long gone.

 

With today’s technology we are so very fortunate to see the emergence of great authors, whether they are best sellers or not. The biggest challenge is to get your work out there, make it shine, and then do the marketing and get exposure. But don’t despair. Write your novel or your poetry. Give birth to your dream, and then learn and go through the process that the world requires of you. Even if you bring delight and inspiration to only one other, it will be worth it.

 

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

It seems I am a bit of both. I have the book’s broad structure in my head and then I develop the characters and chapters one step at a time. I need the broad structure so as to not ramble, but sometimes the story heads in a direction that surprises me. I don’t think it’s ghost writing. At least I hope it isn’t. It’s just describing the responses of humans placed in challenging situations.

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

Traveller Inceptio – which means “Beginning” in Latin, as spoken by the clergy in 11th Century England, lends itself to a sequel.

 

I have almost completed the first draft for Traveller Probo, which means ‘to inquire or prove’. All I can suggest is that the success of the English Traveller missions receives intense international attention and envy, causing nations to compete to engage in their own missions to send their own Travellers 1000 years into the past. It’s like a space-race, only a lot cheaper and easier.

 

But is this a wise course of action?  Who can say?

 

Traveller Probo examines the social and political consequences of the English Saxon mission, and how more missions are planned to send more Special Forces historical researchers to the world of 1000 years ago.

 

 

What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

Once when working for the media they wanted someone who had driven racing cars to participate in a media race event. Though I was never any kind of media star, I fibbed and said I had the experience and was given the gig. On race-day, I couldn’t even change the gears, but once I was shown I did quite well, as none of the other media participants dared drive fast. I did bounce off the walls a few times and won the race, though the car owner wasn’t pleased as there were bold, new scratches down the side of his nicely painted yellow race-car.

 

It was, I must say, a worthwhile fib.

 

Or

 

Didn’t hurt a bit – after having my teeth ground without anesthetic for caps by a dentist in India. I aged 5 years and dropped 2 kilos from sweat.

 

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

Crystallized Ginger, and Licorice (the British type). If you bring that stuff around, don’t expect me to share.

 

What literary character is most like you?

As a kid I was a bit like Tom Sawyer in that I managed to get things … done. When I was about 8 years old I recall being picked on by a kid, so I enlisted the abilities of a big, not too bright kid I barely knew to go into battle for me. They both got into trouble for fighting on the parade ground just as school parade was about to start. I was never picked on again.
My Teacher saw what had happened and, without me knowing, had a chat to my parents. Years later they told me about it. My dad thought it was the funniest thing ever.

 

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

A cat owned by my partner. She spoils that creature rotten. All I would have to do is avoid being gelded at the vet.

 

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

Here’s a few: See a tornado, Scuba dive with sharks – me in a shark cage that is, climb a live volcano, hike a glacier.

 

 Traveller-Inceptio-5x8

 

Title: Traveller Inceptio

Author: Rob Shackleford

Genre: Science Fiction, Historical, Action

Publisher: Book Baby – E Publishing only.

 

Book Blurb:

If you were sent a thousand years into the past, would you survive?

 

With the accidental development of the Transporter, university researchers determine that the device sends any subject one thousand years into the past.

 

Or is it to a possible past?

 

The enigmatic Transporter soon becomes known as a Time Machine, but with limitations.

 

An audacious research project is devised to use the Transporter to investigate Medieval Saxon England, when a crack international team of Special Services soldiers undergo intensive training for their role as historical researchers.

 

The special researchers, called Travellers, are to be sent into what is a very dangerous period in England’s turbulent past.

 

From the beaches of Australia to the forests of Saxon England, Traveller – Inceptio reveals how Travellers soon learn that they need more than combat skills and modern technology to survive the trails of early 11th Century life.

 

 

Excerpt:

Michael makes a chance meeting upon a lonely monk in the depths of the English forest.

The monk stood before Michael and wept in an open-mouthed cry that looked unlike grief or fear but looked more like … joy? He didn’t appear to be as afraid for his life as one would have thought when confronted by an armed man in the depths of the forest.

 

To make matters even more disconcerting, he moved forward until his face was but a hand’s breadth away from Michael. There was an impression of rotten teeth and bad breath, an almost a physical assault from which he immediately recoiled. Many of the monk’s teeth were missing. Obviously, he rarely shaved as his face was covered with stubble that could have been blonde or grey, so the man’s age was almost impossible to determine. Thick, grey hairs and pocked blackheads decorated the end of his bulbous nose as pale grey eyes gazed adoringly up at the newcomer. As the monk wept, Michael froze uncomfortably.

 

Without warning, the monk moved as if to give Michael a hug and it was all he could do to fend the smaller man off with raised hands. Thankfully the small man stopped at the last moment. There was no desire for any close contact with the damp wool that stank heavily. Quickly Michael scanned his surrounds as he realised this monk would be a perfect distraction for brigands, for he was completely immobilised by the man’s emotional reaction. As he watched aghast, the sobbing monk sank slowly to his knees while his tearful eyes never left Michael’s face. Tears poured down his weathered, whiskered cheeks and soon the childlike weeping began to distress. Michael had seen weeping in many places; weeping of mothers for sons, of fathers for children, but nothing quite as mysterious as this. He crouched in front of the monk and reached to touch the man’s grubby hands, his other hand still on his short-sword, just in case.

 

As he reached out, his hand was grasped and held by the monk’s hard, heavily veined hands with swollen arthritic knuckles, hands obviously aggravated by a life of hard physical labour. Before he could react, the monk kissed his hand passionately. He felt the bristly face and a damp slobber of snot and his initial reaction to pull away. He uncomfortably patted the monk’s shoulder and made soothing noises before he retrieved his hand and stood as he encouraged the other to rise. More kisses were threatened, so he hurriedly addressed the monk in Latin, supposing he could speak the lingua franca of clergy throughout Christendom. “Peace be unto you brother,” he said as he gave his slobbered hand a tactful wipe on the seat of his breaches.

 

“And to you” was the automatic sobbed response. There was an accent and the words were understood though, at first, difficult to decipher.

 

“What is your name?” asked Michael.

 

“My name?” the monk asked in a daze as if stunned at such a question. “Oeric, Lord, Brother Oeric,” he replied quietly as he briefly averted his eyes.

 

“Oeric. Greetings Brother Oeric my name is ..” and he paused. He knew it was best to provide his name in a format best suited to the local language. “My name is Michael.” He pronounced it ‘Meekal’ to give the pronunciation that he assumed would suit.

 

At the name, Brother Oeric wailed loudly and again placed his trembling, worn hands over his face. Before Michael could react, the man again fell to his knees and bent to place his face on the leaf litter. Michael again scanned the surrounding forest uncomfortably.

 

Indeed, they were alone.

 

He knelt and awkwardly patted the prostrate Brother Oeric on the shoulder. “Oeric, Brother Oeric, is something wrong? Why do you weep? Come now, stand and tell me, what is the matter?”

 

After a titanic struggle, Brother Oeric managed to retain some control. Rising to his knees he wiped his freely running nose and eyes on the cloth that hung over his chest, a simple square of wool with a head hole that was his scapula, designed to protect his long brown tunic. Michael noted the silver line of snot and decided that if another hug was attempted, that was good enough reason to keep the monk at arm’s-length. Brother Oeric wore a simple, one-piece robe of rough, raw, dark-brown wool that enabled him to blend effectively with the forest. Attached to his scapula was a cowl or large hood to offer protection from snow or rain in a fashion similar to the hood Michael wore on his own cloak. Michael watched the small man clutch his shaking hands together in a moment of muttered prayer before he looked up again. “Lord I give thanks that you are here”, he said with eyes that were again downcast. He paused and gazed adoringly at Michael, a look that was supposed to be a quick glance but which ended in a stare akin to wonder.

 

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=traveller+Inceptio

Book Baby Bookshop

https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Traveller—Inceptio

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/traveller-inceptio

Ciando

http://www.ciando.com/ebook/bid-2275297-traveller-inceptio.html?CFID=79ddd9b3-b737-4881-bf49-ea01a6cc5540&CFTOKEN=0&jsessionid=BA4D06F95BB7D448581D807B0D38E62D

 

Author Biography:

An English-born Australian, Rob Shackleford has lived in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with a varied career that has included Customs Officer, Scuba Instructor, College Teacher and management roles in too many places.

With degrees in the Arts and Business, he is mad keen on travel, Scuba diving, Family History, martial arts, astronomy, and playing Djembe and Congas.

Rob is father of two and lives on the Gold Coast.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/Rob-Shackleford-631222523675665/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/robshackleford

Pinterest

https://au.pinterest.com/robshackl/

Linked In

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robshackleford/

Google +

https://plus.google.com/102561844150525059395

 

 

 

Of Glitter and Gold: A Canary Club Anthology by @AuthorSherry #historicalfiction #YA


Of Glitter and Gold: A Canary Club Anthology
Sherry D. Ficklin
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 27th 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

Set during the flamboyant anything-goes era of 1920’s America, these three tales are filled with intriguing characters and rich imagery from the time period—with flappers, jazz music, gangsters, and lavish wealth. Escape to a different decade today with the compelling stories of the Canary Club Anthology.

 

Novelette 1- Gilded Cage

Masie, the flaxen-haired daughter of notorious bootlegger Dutch Schultz, returns home from boarding school to find her family in crisis. Her mother is dangerously unstable, her father’s empire is on the brink of ruin, and the boy she once loved has become a ruthless killer for hire. To keep her family’s dangerous secrets, Masie is forced into a lie that will change the course of her future—and leave her trapped in a gilded cage of her own making.

 

Novelette 2- All That Glitters

A dame with brains, moxie, and killer curves, June West isn’t your average flapper. She’s managed to endear herself to the son of one of the most powerful gangsters in New York, earning herself a spot in the limelight that she’s always longed for. With the infamous playboy at her side, June has become accustomed to living the high life. Lavish parties, expensive clothes, sparkling jewels—nothing is beyond her reach. But when her carefully woven web of lies finally catches up with her, she must make an impossible choice… come clean about her past and risk losing everything, or find a way to bury her demons—once and for all.

 

Novelette 3 – Nothing Gold

Dickey has been down on his luck since the day he was born. Flat broke and sick of being looked down on, he meets young socialite Lillian at a wild party. The connection is like a strike of lightning. From a wealthy New York family, this debutante is everything he’s been told he can never have—and the only thing he wants. Determined to win her, he knows the only way to get her parents approval is with cold hard cash. So when a shot at the biggest score of his life comes around, he just can’t refuse…

 

Add to Goodreads

NOTHING GOLD EXCERPT:

It’s easier than I imagined to sneak into the party. The music is so loud and the crowd so enormous that no one sees me wind my way through the shrubs on the outskirts. The massive estate is far enough away from the city that I had to hitch a ride to get here, and I’ll have to time my exit just right to make the train back to Manhattan.

Brushing off my secondhand suit coat, I enter the party via the back patio. A wide pool is filled with people, most still in their fancy evening wear. My eyes slide past them, searching for the one person at this shindig that I know. I scan past butlers with white gloves holding silver trays covered in champagne glasses, past gleeful dames in short skirts with blood-red lips, and past gents in their glad rags I can tell with one glance cost more dough than I make in a year working at the mill.

When I finally see him, his pinstripe suit, matching fedora, and red pocket square, he’s standing atop the massive staircase on the ledge overlooking the party. Deacon Brewer, the reason I’m here tonight. His hands are stuffed in the pockets of his trousers as he chats up a fella I don’t recognize, along with the dame hanging off his arm. Plastering on an easy grin, I wind my way through the people, helping myself to a glass of bubbly as I head for the stairs. The stone steps are covered in gold confetti, the whole place practically dripping with it. Long, red velvet drapes hang from arched windows, and leafless branches painted gold and draped with crystal beads sit in tall vases in every corner. Nothing has been left un-gilded.

I shake my head at the audacity. Might as well have a neon sign—someone, please rob the joint.

Deacon sees me coming and dismisses himself from his conversation, welcoming me with an open hand.

“Dickey Lewis, glad you could make it, boy,” he offers warmly.

As if I had a choice.

“Of course, Mr. Brewer,” I respond with more warmth than I feel. Truth is that I’m in deep to Deacon after a few bad bets at his club last month, and he opted to make me work it off rather than take it outta my hide. I suppose that makes him clever, but I can’t help the gnawing feeling that this is a debt I may never fully repay. “What’s the score?” I ask, lowering my voice.

Draping an arm across my shoulders, he walks me through the glass doors and into the house. Still crammed with people drinking, dancing, and generally wrecking the joint, he pulls a cigar from his vest pocket with his free hand.

“Upstairs in the den is a lovely Monet, behind which is a very large safe. Cash, some baubles, and a bankbook are inside. I don’t care about the rest; you take what you need. But the bankbook needs to find its way into my hands tomorrow morning by eight am.”

I take a deep breath, rolling my tongue over my teeth before answering, “How am I supposed to get into the safe?”

He barks a deep laugh, slapping me on the back. “Guess you’ll have to get a little creative. Just get in, get out, and don’t let nobody see ya, got it?”

All I can do is nod and watch him swagger away. Sure, I’ve boosted loot before, but always simple jobs, smash and grabs. Nothing like this. What have I gotten myself into this time?

Still, whatever else is in there is mine for the taking, I tell myself. Could be a big pay day, judging by the looks of the place.

I wander casually through the house, trying to look as if I belong while also counting the number of cops and guards watching the area. It’s not as many as I expected. I grab a dark-haired dame by the waist, offering her a charming smile and asking for a dance. We Charleston together for two songs, finally stopping to imbibe more champagne. When I ‘accidently’ stumble into her, she spills the contents of her glass on my jacket, fumbling a wide-eyed apology.

Waving her off with a smile, I hand her my glass, “You take this, and I’ll go find a place to wash up.”

“You could always take a dip in the pool, honey,” she says, batting her eyelashes.

Beside her, a gentleman points up a secondary set of stairs near the front door. “Washroom is up there, I think.”

I mutter a thanks and a promise to return, then make my way up the stairs, continuing to stumble around as if drunk, occasionally opening a door to find a couple necking or a room full of folks smoking the Indian hop in long pipes.

Finally, the thumping of the music fading below me, I make my way to the library. Beyond that, I find the only locked door on the entire floor. Digging into my pocket, I pull out my lock kit, a simple flattened iron jimmy and a hooked pick. Sliding both in the lock, I slide them back and forth, listening for the mechanism inside to release. It doesn’t take long and the door springs open, allowing me to step inside and close it quickly behind me. It’s dark except for the glow of a single lamp atop a massive oak desk, behind which is a tall arched window overlooking the front of the estate. From this spot, I can see the cars lined up along the circular drive, partygoers coming and going in wild abandon. Pulling the pocket watch from my vest, I wipe my fingers across the cracked glass face, checking the time. Only thirty minutes until the train. If I miss it, it’ll be two hours before the next one. Not the end of the world, unless someone notices the lift before I’m gone. That’s a long time to stick around with a pocket fulla stolen goods.

I glance around me, the blood chilling in my veins. Every wall except the one with the window is covered in framed paintings. And I have no idea which one is a Monet.

Scrambling, I begin lifting each, checking the wall behind for any sign of the safe. Finally, on the opposite wall from where I started, I find it. Carefully lifting the heavy canvas free, I set it on the floor and turn my attention to the wall safe. It’s not large, about the size of a bread box with a spinning combination dial in the center. Unsure what else to do, I pull the pocket knife free from my trousers and flick it open, trying to wedge it between the door and the frame. As soon as I do, I know it’s going to be futile. The thing is heavy steel; no way my knife is gonna bust it open. Putting it away, I begin spinning the dial at random, praying I’ll get lucky.

I’m so flustered I don’t hear the door open or the footsteps from behind me until it’s too late.

“It’s my birthday,” a voice offers, making me spin, hands balled into fists to fight my way free from the room.

The dame is tall, her garnet-red hair rolled into bouncy curls and pinned in a messy heap at the back of her neck. Her dress is green, almost the same color as her eyes, and it hugs her slender frame as if it were a second skin. Even the long strings of pearls twined around her neck seems completely natural, not just a decoration but an extension of her. I take a breath, blinking, momentarily stunned. She drapes one hand on her hip, her entire body listing to the side as she points to the safe.

“The combination,” she repeats. “It’s my birthday.”

Finally recovering my voice, I stammer. “I was, uh, just…”

The corners of her mouth turn upward. “Breaking into my father’s safe?”

I don’t know what to say. I feel her in the room, the way one might feel the air change right before a storm, a heaviness that settles in, leaving my soul with a sense of foreboding. My instincts battle inside me. Do I grab her and tie her to a chair, or do I flee? The weight of her gaze makes it impossible to think clearly.

“Relax,” she says, raising a glass I hadn’t noticed her holding to her lips and taking a slow drink. “I’m not calling the guards if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“Oh? You’re just gonna let me crack this safe and walk away with whatever’s inside?”

She shrugs. “It’s not my money. What do I care?”

I lick my lips, sizing her up. A spoiled little rich girl who wants to stick it to Daddy. I’ve seen a few of those in my day. I can work with this—if I can get my head back on straight. It’s not like me to get so flustered by a dame, not even a high-quality one like this.

“Besides…” She sets the glass on the desk and saunters toward me. “It’s not like we don’t have enough.”

I catch a hint of her perfume in the air when she brushes by me, lavender and something else I can’t quite place. Taking the dial in her hand, she spins the knob until the door finally clicks, then she steps back, giving me a go-ahead gesture.

I hesitate, flicking glances at the bare skin where her neck meets her shoulder, at the creamy whiteness of her skin, before settling my eyes on her face. “What’s your name, doll?”

She looks down, sheepishly at first, but then raises just her eyes to look at me with an expression of bold defiance. “I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.”

I swallow, considering her offer. She’s already gotten a good look at me, enough to rat me out to the cops. The look on her face is one of challenge, I realize. She’s daring me to trust her.

“Dickey,” I say, pulling the flat cap off my head and holding it over my heart as I bow to her. “Dickey Lewis, at your service, Miss?”

“Lillian Rose Duke,” she answers. “But my friends call me Lilly.”

Replacing my hat, I grab the safe handle and twist, pulling open the heavy door. Grabbing a large wooden box first, I hold it out to her. Moving back, I grab two stacks of fresh bills and stuff them in the pockets of my suitcoat. Finding the bankbook last, I tuck it into the back of my pants before pulling my shirt and jacket over it.

I spin to Lilly, watching as she upends the box, spilling jewelry onto the desk in a pile. She picks through it, finally just scooping it all into her hand and sauntering over to me. Getting so close I feel the warmth of her, she grabs the lapel of my jacket, sliding the gold and stones into the inside pocket.

“Give these to your girl, Dickey Lewis.”

She releases my lapel, but doesn’t step away. Instead, she leans forward. Thinking she’s going to kiss me, I straighten in anticipation, but she just trails her fingers along my collar until she’s cupping the back of my neck.

“I ain’t got no girl,” I admit, my heart pounding behind my ribs.

“Well, isn’t that a shame?” she says, her lips a hair’s breadth from mine.

Unable to resist, I close the final distance between us, clutching her by the waist as I urge her lips to mine. I’ve never tasted gold before, but I imagine this is what it would be like—champagne, honey, and nerves of steel. When she finally pulls away, I’m gasping. Tugging tugs the white linen handkerchief from my pocket, she wipes my face, then hers, of her smeared lipstick before returning the hankie to its place.

“I hope to see you around, Dickey Lewis.”

With that, she spins on her heel and heads for the door, listening for a moment before pulling it open and stepping out. The room is instantly colder, the air thinner. I can finally breathe, can think.

As I slink from the party and disappear into the shadows, making my way down the street to the train station, I can’t force the sight of her from my mind, or the taste of her from my lips.

Even if it takes every penny in my pocket and every breath in my body, I will see Lillian Rose Duke again.

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

The Wolf Mirror by Caroline Healy @CHealyFiction #bookreview #YA #timetravel


The Wolf Mirror
Caroline Healy
Publication date: February 14th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult

Changing places doesn’t always help you see things differently.

 

Cassie throws the first punch in a brawl at Winchester Abbey Girl’s School. Her subsequent suspension is a glitch in Cassie’s master plan; Finish School/Get Job/Leave Home (and never come back). As punishment her mother banishes her to Ludlow Park, their creepy ancestral home. In the dark of a stormy night Cassie finds herself transported to 1714, the beginning of the Georgian period.

 

With the help of a lady’s maid and an obnoxious gentleman, Mr Charles Stafford, Cassie must unravel the mysterious illness afflicting Lord Miller. If Lord Miller kicks the bucket the house goes to Reginald Huxley, the brainless cousin from London.

 

Cassie’s task is to figure out who is poisoning the Lord of Ludlow without exposing herself to the ridicule of her peers, getting herself committed to the asylum or worse, married off to the first man who will have her.

 

Cassie must learn to hold her tongue, keep her pride in check and reign in her rebellious nature – because the fate of her entire family, for generations, rests on her shoulders.

 

Meanwhile, Lady Cassandra Miller frantically searches for her smelling salts or her trusted governess Miss. Blythe, whose soothing advice she would dearly love. Instead Cassandra finds some woman and a boy squatting in the Ludlow mansion; her father, her lady’s maid and all the servants have magically disappeared.

 

Tell-a-vision, the In-her-net, horseless carriages and women wearing pantaloons; Cassandra is afraid that she might have inhaled fowl air causing her to temporarily lose her senses.

 

Only when both girls can get over their pride, societal prejudices and self-importance will they be able to return to their rightful century. Until then, they are free to wreak maximum damage on their respective centuries.

 

Book Review:

After getting into a fight with a bully, Cassie is suspended from her prestigious school. Her mother has had enough and Cassie, her mother and her brother take a trip to Ludlow Park. Normally, this wouldn’t be a bad thing but there’s no internet to speak of at their ancestral home and it’s way too creepy.

Cassie goes wandering for a place to sneak a cigarette when she discovers an antique mirror with four wolf heads surrounding it. Before she can take a step back, it sucks her into a vortex and she finds herself in Ludlow Park in the year 1714.

At the exact same time, Lady Cassandra (in the year 1714) discovers the same mirror and is flung forward to the present. Two girls with the same name swap places and once over the Freaky Friday moment, are determined to get back to their retrospective time periods. Will they learn what they’re meant to learn in time or will they forever be in the wrong century?

I really enjoyed this book. The premise and cover intrigued me. I connected immediately with modern-day Cassie while I found it a hair difficult to relate to Cassandra. The historical part seemed, at times, forced and not realistic. The romance, for what it’s worth, was more hype than anything else. The ending, however, was superb and the way the author tied everything together impressed me.

If you like historical fiction with a twist, give this a try. The plot progresses at a fast pace once the time flip happens. Highly enjoyable.

My Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

 

Caroline Healy is a writer and community arts facilitator. She recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University. She alternates her time between procrastination and making art.

 

In 2012 her award winning short story collection A Stitch in Time was published by Doire Press. Fiction and commentary has been featured in publications across Ireland, the U.K. and more recently in the U.S. Caroline’s work can be found in journals such as Wordlegs,The Bohemyth, Short Story Ireland, Short Stop U.K., Five Stop Story, Prole, Literary Orphans and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice.

 

Her debut Y.A. novel, Blood Entwines was published by Bloomsbury Spark in August 2014 and she is in the process of writing the second book in the series, Blood Betrayal, as well as a short story collection, The House of Water.

 

She has a fondness for dark chocolate, cups of tea and winter woollies.

 

(More details can be found on her website http://www.carolinehealy.com)

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk is a Superbly Woven Tale #bookreview #books


war-and-remembrance

 

Title: War and Remembrance

Author: Herman Wouk

Genre: Historical Fiction, Classical Literature

 

Book Blurb:

Herman Wouk’s sweeping epic of World War II, which begins with The Winds of War and continues here in War and Remembrance, stands as the crowning achievement of one of America’s most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk’s spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events – and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II – as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war’s maelstrom.

 

My Review:

What a superbly woven tale.  Authors need to review the great works of Wouk when they are trying to tie together a vast number of story lines and a vast number of characters.  I first came to know this story in the incredible mini series that ran in 1988.  I then got this book and the story just captivates as it tells the story of the Henry and Jastrow families.  The ‘history of World War 2’ intro sections can drag a touch but is done in a way to fill in to the non-historical reader the basic facts of the War during each period.  I love the book and highly recommend it as a super read and as a tool for authors who wish to weave complicated stories.  This is how you do it.

 

 

My Rating:  4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/War-Remembrance-Herman-Wouk-ebook/dp/B0033UT24E

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42986.War_and_Remembrance?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Author Biography:

Herman Wouk earned his living as a scriptwriter for Fred Allen before serving in World War II. His career as a novelist spans nearly six decades and has brought him resounding international acclaim. He lives in Palm Springs, California.

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

Initiated to Kill by @SharleneAlmond #thriller #historical #Giveaway


 initiatedtokill-front

 

Title: Initiated to Kill

 

 

Author: Sharlene Almond

 

 

Genre: Historical/21st century psychological thriller

 

 

Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press and Start Publishing

 

 

Book Blurb:

Two men from two different generations, both initiated into a powerful organization that throughout history has sought control and uses their power for destruction. They leave behind a wake of murder, manipulation and ancient secrets. The first man wreaks havoc in and around the Whitechapel district of London, England in the 19th century. While the other stalks his victims in the cosmopolitan city of Seville, Spain in the 21st century; knowing that only he could uncover the true motives of one of the world’s most infamous serial killers—Jack the Ripper.

 

Excerpt:

Prologue

January, 1888

The solemn lodge hid from unworthy eyes, an unnoticeable forgotten place made of granite. Two Sphinx- like granite lions with women’s heads peered down from the entrance of the lodge. An “ankh” adorned the lion’s neck, entwined with a cobra. An image of a woman embellished the neck and breast of the other lion, speaking of fertility and procreation.

Fervent men slowly make their way up the three levels of narrowing steps, passing under the two Egyptian swords with curved serpentine blades, passing through the two tall bronze doors.

One man glanced up as he ascended the steps, silently mouthing, “the temple of the Supreme Council Freemasons,” made of brass letters and set in stone. His gaze fell to the plaque cut in stone, “Freemasonry Builds Its Temples in the Hearts of Men and Among Nations.”

Stone columns extend high above the entrance and partially conceal an image of an Egyptian god, backed with radiating sun and flanked by six large golden snakes. He stepped past the threshold of the lodge entirely made of marble, exotic wood, and statues carved from gold.

The ofting room decorated with many symbols, especially the serpent, and portraits of famous and influential men, lined the walls. Illuminations flickered above the men, resembling stars in the dark blue sky; the golden serpents silently watching in the blue heavens.

Slowly removing his clothes, wrapping the long black

robe around him, placing a hood over his head to partially conceal his face.

In the recesses of the ancient temple, an ornately decorated room filled with candles, lighted the way for the men filing in. Dressed in long black robes, hands pressed solemnly together, slowly the row of men trudge into the Temple room. Each with their face down, they instinctively form a large circle in the room.

The room fell with a deathly silence; abruptly three knocks reverberated throughout the room. The Worshipful Master spoke, “You will admit him in the name of the Grand Architect of the Universe, and let him be placed in the West.”

Gradually the door creaks open, a young man enters with a black robe and the left knee and breast exposed. The young man’s face is covered by a dark cloth and led around the circle by a rope around his neck. The candidate is led to the oath of secrecy where the Worshipful Master stands. A sword is pricked to the candidate’s left breast.

“As this is a prick to the flesh at this time, so may the remembrance of it be to your conscience hereafter, should you ever attempt improperly to reveal any of the secrets with which you are about to be entrusted.”

The group silently watch as the candidate is instructed to kneel with his left knee bare and bent, his right foot forming a square and the body being erect in that square. The left hand supports the Volume of the Sacred Law, compass and square and right hand placed thereon.

“‘Vouch safe Thine Aid, Almighty Father, Grand Architect of the Universe, to this our present conviction. Grant that this Candidate for Masonry, now kneeling before thee, may dedicate and devote his life to thy Service, and become a true and faithful Brother amongst us. To this end endue him with such a competency of thy Divine Wisdom, that assisted by the secrets of our Royal Masonic Art, he may be better enabled to display the beauties of true godliness to the Honour and glory of Thy Most Holy Name.’ ”

“‘I do most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear to have my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by the roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea at low water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows in twenty- four hours…should I ever knowingly or willingly violate this my solemn oath or obligation as an Entered Apprentice Mason. So help me God.’ ”

The young man is then presented with white gloves and escorted to the pedestal in the East to become an Entered Apprentice.

Throughout the ceremony another waited expectedly. Another man would join them, and this man would be the one. He had done a lot to encourage them to allow this man to be initiated.

But he could never have foretold the events to come.

 

i-heard-myself-speak-with-confidence-and

A candlelit chamber houses a secret meeting where four men sit around a table, each wearing the long black robes and only talking above a whisper.

“The time has come to make our stand and proclaim to our Brothers that it’s time. It’s our time to cause such a panic, that people will not know whom to turn to. That the reliance on religion and government will pass. It’s our time to take control, and whoever does not stand behind us will

fall.”“Yes, we must give a sign to our Brothers that can only be recognized by them, something that will forever change the world.”

 

Giveaway:

Sharlene Almond is giving away a free e-book to five lucky commenters. Answer this question in the comments below:

What’s your favorite thriller/suspense book and why?

Open Internationally and runs through January 25, 2017.

 

 

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Initiated-Kill-Sharlene-Almond-ebook/dp/B01E9DDKO6/

 

sharlene-almod

 

Author Biography:

I’m an author and student living in Auckland, New Zealand. I’ve studied in a wide range of subjects; however, chose to concentrate on courses designed to learn more about the human psyche.

 

Having studied in Criminology and Neuro Linguistic programming; in addition to completing a diploma course in body language, enables me to give an authentic feel to my characters, and the crimes committed. Because I’ve always been fascinated with human psychology, especially criminal psychology, I always include that element in every book I write.

 

I’m also a student studying Naturopathy Nutrition, and Body Language. Although I love writing, I am hoping to eventually start up my own business as a Complementary Health Therapist from home.

 

I have recently published a New Zealand travel E-book – Journey in Little Paradise, to inform travellers of what to expect when they come to New Zealand. And if you are interested in reviewing this as well, or instead, I can provide an E-book of your choice.

 

As an author of historical/21st century psychological, international thrillers, my books challenge readers to think beyond what they believe, as well as taking the reader on a journey throughout Europe and abroad.

 

Social Media Links:

If you are interested in any of the topics I am qualified in, as well as writing tips from myself and other writers, I will be starting up a monthly newsletter, including a Q&A for subscribers to write into me. Link to sign-up to my newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cqQ26v

Email: sharlenealmond@gmail.com

Blog: https://sharlenefreelancewriter.wordpress.com/

About.me: https://about.me/sharlene.almond

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Sharlene-Almond/e/B00K3ZK2ZA/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharleneAlmond

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sharlenealmond.co.nz?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sharlenealmond/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6626652.Sharlene_Almond

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharlene-almond-35123077

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/3/+SharleneAlmondauthor

Rewriting #CivilWar History to Fit Ideology? Not on @CurtLock’s Watch! #books #FridayReads


asunder-guest-post-graphic

 

The Russians invented the light bulb? Really? They also invented the airplane. OF COURSE, THAT’S NOT TRUE, but Americans laughed during the 1960’s at the preposterous Soviets who were re-writing history to fit their ideology.

 

The Soviets re-named St. Petersburg to Leningrad, and Tsaritsyn became Stalingrad, honoring their dictator. The Soviets tore down religious statues, turned churches into warehouses. They wanted only their distorted history, their ideology. A history of lies.

 

What about enlightened America? Are groups removing statues and renaming buildings to match their ideology? There are.

 

The groups removing Confederate statues want everyone to believe that all Southerners hated African-Americans.

 

Not true. In the South, a few elite plantation owners enslaved Negroes.

 

The key words – “elite few.” The vast majority of Southerners had no slaves. However, many Northerners grew rich from slavery.

 

Northern “slaves” were the impoverished, white-skinned Irish.

 

The Irish received a pitiful wage. But nothing else. The slaves in the South had their own houses, often shabby ones, but a house with a garden and chickens. Some earned pay.

 

The Irish lived in slums. Often, several families lived in a three-room flat or in shanties.

 

Several Southern laws, enacted by the elite, forbade teaching Negroes to read. In the North, no law was needed. The smallest children worked in sweat shops.

 

In the South, the plantation owner sent for a doctor for a sick slave. No such luxury for the Irish.

 

Now, for the incredibly well-documented reasons for men fighting in the almost entirely volunteer armies, north and south.  Primarily two reasons.

 

First, in that era, a man could never be considered a “coward” by not enlisting. If a man’s neighbors were signing up, he must also. It was a major societal expectation. Just because we don’t have that societal pressure in America today doesn’t mean it was not prevalent then.

 

Second, everyone thought the war would be over in three months. Most men wanted to get into a “scrap,” a sort of fisticuffs with a neighbor. Society romanticized war in the “Romantic Era.”

 

Today, we have a new version of the “Elite” who believe they have the right to belittle and destroy people’s pride in their state, remove statues, refuse to sell certain flags, even destroy tombstones of an honored ancestor.

 

General Johnston, for whom several schools are named, has been dishonored by an “elite few” in changing a school named in honor of the general. Johnston fought honorably for the US in the Mexican War. He died in battle because he had sent his doctors to save Yankee wounded.

 

Here are some facts. Long before the war, Lee released his slaves. Grant didn’t release his until he was forced to after the war.

 

Just so you know, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of my heroes. I honor him and so many more African-Americans. God did not make us to divide ourselves, but to love everyone. Nor should we allow a few elite to re-write our shared history to fit their ideology.

 

asunder-cover-from-outskirts

 

Title:  Asunder, A Novel of the Civil War

Author: Curt Locklear

Genre:  Historical Fiction/ Romance

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Book Cover Credit:  Karen Phillips

Author Picture Credit:  Sandra Timm

 

Book Blurb:

Thrust into the middle of Civil War battle, with both Union and Rebel protagonists and antagonists, Asunder, the first in the Trilogy, is a story of love and loss and of families torn apart.

 

Thoroughly researched, the novel presents numerous complex, memorable characters struggling against incredible odds in an epic spanning from Texas to New York.

 

he story begins in frigid February, long after the battle. Cyntha Favor, an abolitionist and ardent believer in Spiritualism, searches the battlefield in hopes of finding her husband’s grave. Having received erroneous reports of his death, she hopes to free his tormented soul. During the Civil War, it is estimated that at least one-fifth of the population wholeheartedly believed in Spiritualism. Mary Lincoln held séances in the White House with President Lincoln in attendance. Sara Reeder, initially naïve and an ardent supporter of the Southern cause, is thrust into the battle maelstrom. An excellent horse-woman, she rides to warn the army of a surprise attack, but is too late. With battle all around, she aids wounded Union soldiers, and her zeal for the war changes forever.

 

In early 1861, both armies wore an assortment of uniforms. The Union had not adopted the standard blue uniform. Cyntha’s husband, a Union soldier, Iowa Grays volunteer, Joseph Favor, is found unconscious by Sara. Nursed to health by Sara and her father, Lucas, he awakens with no memory, unable to recall even the battle. The Reeders perceive him, since he is dressed in gray, to be a Confederate. Dred Workman, a conniving Iowan comrade and deserter to the Rebels, falsely identifies Joseph as a Cavalryman in the Third Texas.

 

The Reeder home is turned into a hospital. Soon, they are left to care for numerous wounded with no help from the army. Lucas blames Lincoln for the war. Based on an actual event, he holds a grudge against the president for something that happened before the war when Lincoln was a lawyer. Lucas and his slave have become friends, no longer slave and master. Sara and Joseph are romantically drawn to each other, but Joseph is haunted by fleeting images of his past. Joseph is called to join the cavalry. Will this parting keep them from being together? Joined by her freeman employee and confidant, Josiah Reynolds, Cyntha’s headstrong manner lands her in confinement by the Union army. She meets a dubious Spiritualist who convinces her that Joseph’s soul is indeed tormented.

 

Learning her brother is accused of robbery, and aided by a quirky Rebel supporter, Constance Carver, she plans escape. Her brother has problems of his own when the steamboat he is a passenger on sinks in a storm. The survivors are attacked by River Pirates. With Missouri marauder gangs closing in on the Reeder farm, the Spiritualist Fox sisters holding séances, and devastating battles, Asunder drives towards a devastating climax.

 

 

Excerpt:

“Am I going to die?” he said. He seemed less anxious and more curious.

Sara dried her hands on her skirt. I really do not know what to say, she thought. She had seen death before when a cow or calf had died. She had helped with the slaughtering of pigs, goats and chickens. She had attended funerals of friends and of her brothers when she was young and seen the bodies lying in coffins, but she had not seen this. She felt she could only dissuade him from the truth. She stroked his brow, “Of course not.  You’re just a little hurt. You’ll get better.”

“How come I can’t feel my legs?” he said. “I think I’m pretty hurt.”

Sara sat back in a kneeling position and saw the blood spilling from the soldier’s back and spreading, turning the grass russet. The blood had spread to stain her skirt as well. She struggled to hide her horror. Without thinking, and more to just be doing something, she set about rubbing his legs very hard.

“I’m kind of cold, miss,” he whispered, “Is there a blanket?”

Sara bit her lip to hold back her tears. To her, he had a face similar to her oldest brother.

Then his pupils fixed.

She stopped rubbing his legs and set her hands in her lap. Her mind refused to believe the young man had died. Time froze for her. Once again, she felt the pinch of nausea, but it was mixed with a deep sadness. Trying not to look at the startled expression on the lifeless face, she lightly shut his eyes.

With a deep breath, Sara rose and walked to the next wounded soldier lying on his back. She tore cloth from her skirt hem and bound his bloody shoulder. Three Rebel soldiers bent over the remaining wounded, staunching one soldier’s bleeding foot and binding the head-wound of another. The sergeant and a private gathered the remaining weapons from the dead and wounded soldiers and stacked them against a sweet gum tree.

In their little shaded forest hospital ward, the battle seemed far away. The deep forest muffled the sounds of battle which, once more, momentarily drifted away to almost nothing.

A slight-built Confederate said, “I wonder if we won this battle, or if the Yanks did.”

No one answered him. The battle no longer mattered, only caring for the wounded.

Sara continued to give directions, though she did not need to, for the soldiers bound the wounds with torn shirts taken from the dead and offered liquor from an earthenware jug that a Confederate had carried with him all through the battle. They labored in general silence. The slight-built one said to her, “I was wondering. Are you the general’s daughter?”

“No,” Sara, taken aback, laughed nervously. “I’m just here to help you to fight these Yanks and make them go home.”

A private, dressed in a smart gray uniform with his jacket open at the top, revealing a shirt with dainty flowered stripes, approached Sara and offered a weak smile. “Miss, would it be okay if you take a look at me, too.” He unbuttoned his jacket, revealing a red blossoming stain, then he slumped down.

Sara rushed to him, caught his arm and slowed his fall. This soldier, with long, tangled, blond locks spilling over his eyes, looked familiar, and a thought leapt to her mind that perhaps he was the one who had sung to her. She held her hand behind his head and helped him lie on the ground. “Give me some help here. One of ours is hurt badly.”

Sara brushed the hair from over his eyes and beheld a face she was sure was indeed too familiar.  Her mind raced, and her heart felt like it would burst from her chest. Breathing came hard for her, but she forced herself to ask the young, fair-skinned man lying cradled in her arms, “Did you two days ago sing a song for me in camp?”

The soldier looked puzzled, then stared off in the distance as if gathering a memory. He coughed a rattling cough. Looking back at her, he whispered, “I do like to sing.” Then he said something else, too soft for Sara to hear. His breathing became labored.

She bent closer to his lips, tears pooling in her eyes. “Please, say that again. I couldn’t understand you.” She looked into his eyes that seemed to hold no fear, but a sort of quiet resignation.  His clean-shaven face was pale though his cheeks were sunburnt, his thin lips chapped.

In a whisper she could barely hear, he breathed out, “Yes, I sang to you, and you gave me a tin of milk.” He smiled, the lids of his eyes fluttering to closed. “It was good milk. Reminded me of home.”

The other Confederates gathered around Sara and their fallen comrade. The sergeant unbuttoned the boy’s jacket and revealed the shirt, coated in blood. A jagged wound oozed dark maroon. The sergeant looked up at Sara. His eyes said it all. The young soldier, just like the Yankee cavalryman, had no hope.

Sara’s eyes flooded with tears, and she began shaking uncontrollably and wailing. “No!” she screamed between heaving gasps. “This is not what war is supposed to be!”

The old, gray sergeant gently took her arms and lifted her to her feet. She stumbled away with him supporting her. She sobbed and had trouble catching her breath and collapsed to the ground.

Somewhere in the caverns of her ears she heard one of the Confederates say, “Sergeant, he’s passed on.”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear/dp/1478770546/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

 

 

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asunder-curt-locklear/1123745873?ean=9781478769545

 

 

Outskirts Press

http://outskirtspress.net/bookstore/details/9781478769545

 

http://outskirtspress.com/webpage?isbn=9781478769545

 

Wordery Online books

https://wordery.com/asunder-curt-locklear-9781478769545

 

curt-playing-guitar

 

Author Biography:

CURT LOCKLEAR – award-winning author, history teacher, musician, composer, and positive education consultant.  In my career, I have delivered presentations to thousands, small and large groups. My talks are always sprinkled with jokes and intriguing stories. If asked, I can play a few Civil War era tunes on my banjo and/or guitar.

My father trained a race-horse in the Kentucky Derby. My mother was a librarian. I’m related to the first wing-walker. My heritage is Southern and Northern. My Rebel forbearer once cleverly hid from a Yankee squad in corn crib. My Yankee forbearer was a bugler.

 

Social Media Links:

Website https://curtlocklearauthor.com

Email curt@curtlocklearauthor.com

Twitter @CurtLock

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/curtlocklearauthor/

We’re Thrilled to Introduce @Suzy_Henderson and her #historicalfiction novel #ASMSG


We’re so excited to have historical novelist, Suzy Henderson, here on the POTL Blog today. Her debut novel, The Beauty Shop, sounds fantastic and we’re deciding which of us gets to read it first. Suzy agreed to sit down for an interview and we’re proud to introduce her. Take it away, Suzy:

 

  1. Are you a plotter or a pantster?

In the beginning, I was a pantster, but I soon realised it was impossible to work that way and to expect to be able to draft a complete historical novel. The research for my debut was huge and took a considerable amount of time – I’m talking many months. So, I began writing this as a pantster which, looking back now was ridiculous. When I ran out of steam, I was left frustrated. I knew what I wanted to say, but I didn’t know how to say it. That was when I relented and began to plan. The structure worked very well, eradicated the writer’s block while bringing in a flood of fresh ideas. It helped me complete the novel and revise it – several times in truth. I’ve since written a contemporary romance and decided once more to be a panster, only to stop and plan half-way through. So, a plotter I am.

 

  1. What is your least favorite part of the publishing /writing process?

Marketing my book is my least favourite part. I think that once I have the paperback format, I’ll enjoy arranging book signings and talking to the public about the book. That’s something I know I’ll love, but it’s the ‘behind-the-scenes’ work I dislike. Well, the problem is that it takes away your writing time which is so precious. Writing the next book is vital, and so I think it’s essential to strike the right balance.

 

  1. What are you working on now? What is your next project?

Well, I’m staying with the WW2 period for the time being, and I have a novel which is almost complete. I can’t say too much about it yet, but there is an SOE theme with a slight difference, and it’s mainly set in France.

 

  1. What is your writing process?

I’m not sure I have much of a process as such. I get up and write, or I don’t write – it all depends on the day and the work revolving around marketing the recent book. I love writing early morning and late in the evening when the house is quiet and calm, and my writing flows so much easier. I do try to write every day, even if it’s simply to jot down random thoughts – it doesn’t have to be about making a certain word count each day, not to me. I write verses too, anything goes.

 

  1. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

Hilary Mantel gave me the courage to be a writer. Not only do I love her writing style and her books, but her beautiful memoir, Giving up The Ghost, is a frank account of her early life and her journey into writing. In it, she talks about how she always knew she could write well, but she had never written fiction, and so she had to learn. Well, that was my turning point. I suddenly thought if she can do it then so can I. Also, Pat Barker inspired me with her Regeneration Trilogy, novels that were so relevant to my writing.

 

  1. If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Without any hesitation, I’d love to be able to go back in time – and you can guess where I’d go. That would be the ultimate journey, although I may just be tempted to remain lost in the past.

 

  1. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

France, especially the Pyrenees. It’s beautiful and intriguing, and I’d love to see the museum for the Maquis and the various memorials. The area is steeped in history and is remarkable.

 

  1. What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

At the top of that list is my ride in a B-17 Flying Fortress. For that, I need to make a trip to America as it’s not possible here in the UK. I can’t wait, and I just know I’ll be in tears – happy and sad. Next, I’d love to fly in a Lancaster Bomber – again, the only place I can do this is in Canada. I recently decided I’d also love to take some flying lessons. I’ve always been too nervous in the past, but I think I’m growing bolder as I grow older! That would be so great.

 

  1. What secret talents do you have?

Music has always been a passion ever since I was a child and I play the flute.

 

  1. Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

I don’t smoke and, rather bizarrely, I’m sensitive to alcohol, so I no longer drink. My vice is snacks – sugar ultimately and that’s pretty bad when you’re a writer, and you sit for long periods. So, I’ve banished most of the bad treats, and I drink a lot of water. So far so good and no cravings after six weeks.

 

the-beauty-shop-cover-large-ebook

 

Title: The Beauty Shop

Author: Suzy Henderson

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

England, 1942. After three years of WWII, Britain is showing the scars. But in this darkest of days, three lives intertwine, changing their destinies and those of many more.

Dr Archibald McIndoe, a New Zealand plastic surgeon with unorthodox methods, is on a mission to treat and rehabilitate badly burned airmen – their bodies and souls. With the camaraderie and support of the Guinea Pig Club, his boys battle to overcome disfigurement, pain, and prejudice to learn to live again.

John ‘Mac’ Mackenzie of the US Air Force is aware of the odds. He has one chance in five of surviving the war. Flying bombing missions through hell and back, he’s fighting more than the Luftwaffe. Fear and doubt stalk him on the ground and in the air, and he’s torn between his duty and his conscience.

Shy, decent and sensible Stella Charlton’s future seems certain until war breaks out. As a new recruit to the WAAF, she meets an American pilot on New Year’s Eve. After just one dance, she falls head over heels for the handsome airman. But when he survives a crash, she realises her own battle has only just begun.

Based on a true story, “The Beauty Shop” is a moving tale of love, compassion, and determination against a backdrop of wartime tragedy.

 

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Ward III, Queen Victoria Hospital,

East Grinstead, November 1942

 

The boy lay swathed in bandages that masked third-degree burns to the face, neck, chest, arms, and legs; the aftermath of a skirmish with the Luftwaffe. It was a miracle he’d been able to bail out of his flaming Spitfire and pull the cord on his parachute, with hands of molten wax, skin that hung in shards like ripped silk, and fingers melded together by the heat of the furnace. Archibald McIndoe inhaled as he hovered in the doorway of the side room and wrinkled his nose against the cloying stench of charred flesh that assaulted his nostrils. It was a nauseating odour he was used to and usually ignored, but tonight was different. Tonight it was especially malodorous and reached into the back of his throat, and he cupped his nose with his hand as he tried not to gag.

 

He sauntered out into the ward. Music flowed from the gramophone further down, and the upbeat, familiar Glenn Miller sound swung out, a delightful blend of saxophones, trumpets, and strings. ‘American Patrol.’ The volume was unusually low; he sensed that was purposefully done out of respect and his heart contracted. A haze of stale cigarette smoke and the sweet aroma of beer blended in the air to mask any clinical odours or otherwise. With the blackout curtains drawn, the bedside lighting cast a subdued glow around the ward. He stopped in front of the coke stove and held his hands in the wave of heat that streamed from the door. They were still numb from the frosty evening air, even though he had been back inside for a while.

 

He glanced around. The place looked more like a barracks than a hospital. One airman lay stretched out on top of his bed, reading a newspaper, a smouldering cigarette resting between the first two fingers of his right hand. He glanced up.

 

‘Evening, Maestro.’ The voice was flat.

 

Archie nodded a greeting. Three others sat huddled around the table in the middle of the ward, playing cards. Suddenly, an airman in RAF blues sprang up from his chair and grabbed the blonde VAD nurse with the ruby lips and twirled her around, dancing to the tune, which promptly changed to a slower number. Then he drew her close as they waltzed to notes that quivered in the air. He glanced at Archie and grinned. ‘Hello, Maestro. Fancy a beer?’

 

‘No thanks, Dickie, not tonight.’

 

His upturned mouth sagged into a straight line, and he nodded, his hand slipping from the nurse’s waist as he moved away – thirty seconds of frivolity anaesthetised by the gathering dark clouds. As Archie ambled back towards the side room, the boys gazed at him with sombre faces, their eyes glazed. Amidst the clink of beer glasses, the chain-smoking, and the banter, they all knew.

 

Back in the side room, another sound filtered in, a desperate, chilling rasp, and the hairs at the nape of Archie’s neck prickled. He sighed. He had told the boy exactly what he said to all of them when they first arrived. ‘Don’t worry. We’ll fix you up.’ His stomach sank. He’d tried his best, truly he had.

 

He strode over to the bed. David’s breathing had changed since this morning. He was in the period of transition; the final phase. Archie swallowed. Dear God, why had it come to this? David lay quite still, rattling breaths cutting through the hush, a thatch of golden blond hair just visible above his bandages. Did he have a girl and did she ever thread her fingers through his hair? It was a random thought, plucked from nowhere, silly really, but then this whole event was bizarre and surreal. It shouldn’t be happening – just like this bloody war. The words of his cousin Harold Gillies sprung into his mind: This war will bring injuries never seen before. Archie nodded. ‘Right again, as usual,’ he muttered.

 

Why couldn’t he have saved him? Yes, the boy had severe injuries, albeit injuries he could have survived. However, the infection that had taken a serious hold several days ago had changed the course of David’s life, bending its flow in another direction. Sepsis had spread, his organs were failing, and there was nothing to be done. Nothing at all, except sit here and wait. The boy sucked in breaths through an open mouth. Archie glanced around and spotted the kidney dish on the bedside table with a mouth swab and water. He gently dabbed David’s dry lips and tongue. At least he could do that.

 

Buy Links:

http://myBook.to/TheBeautyShop

 

suzy-henderson

 

Author Biography:

Suzy Henderson was born in the North of England, but a career in healthcare would eventually take her to rural Somerset. Years later, she decided to embark upon a degree in English Literature with The Open University.

 

 

That was the beginning of a new life journey, rekindling her love of writing and passion for history. With an obsession for military and aviation history, she began to write.

 

 

It was an old black and white photograph of her grandmother that caught Suzy’s imagination many years ago. Her grandmother died in 1980 as did her tales of war as she never spoke of those times. When she decided to research her grandmother’s war service in the WAAF, things spiralled from there. Stories came to light, little-known stories and tragedies and it is such discoveries that inform her writing.

 

 

Having relocated to the wilds of North Cumbria, she has the Pennines in sight and finally feels at home. Suzy is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Romantic Novelists Association. “The Beauty Shop” is her debut novel and will be released 28th November 2016.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.suzyhendersonauthor.com/

WordPress suzyhenderson.wordpress.com

Blog http://lowfellwritersplace.blogspot.co.uk/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15954239.Suzy_Henderson

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SuzyHendersonAuthor/

Twitter https://twitter.com/Suzy_Henderson

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/109057622139171622985

LinkedIn https://uk.linkedin.com/in/suzy-henderson-714a4353

The Du Lac Devil by @MaryAnneYarde is a Must-Read! #bookreview #HistoricalFantasy


the-du-lac-devil-10-august-2016-kindle

 

Title: The Du Lac Devil (Book 2 of The Du Lac Chronicles)

Author: Mary Anne Yarde

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Arthurian, Historical Romance

 

Book Blurb:

War is coming to Saxon Briton.

 

As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs.

 

Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.

 

Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lac must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.

 

Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war?

 

My Review:

Think you know what really happened between King Arthur Pendragon and Sir Lancelot Du Lac? This is the real story… or at least what Mary Anne Yarde envisions it.

 

This is book two in The Du Lac Chronicles series and while it is a standalone (thanks to Yarde’s excellent backstory abilities), I highly recommend you read book one first.

 

Merton Du Lac is one of Lancelot’s sons and while he is the youngest of his brothers, his soul is weighed down by responsibility. To ease his guilt of his brother Alden’s torture by the hand of King Wessex, Merton goes off to war, wherever he can find it. Being a mercenary to the highest bidder is good money but Merton is caught between two rival armies who want Merton’s head on a spike when he gets word of the sudden death of his brother’s wife and their sole heir.

 

Merton runs into Alden and reunites with Budic as well. The Du Lac brothers are all together and this can only mean one thing: trouble. Merton is the first to sniff out the trap but before he can escape, Alton is captured and thrown in the dungeon. He can’t leave his brother and must figure out a way to free him before the noose tightens around Merton’s neck.

 

Meanwhile, Merton reunites with his deceased brother’s widow, Amandine. She’s married once again to a droll Lord in Budic’s court. A slow-burning romance between Merton and Amandine, even though Merton tries his best to squelch it. He pushes her away and confesses all his dark deeds in the hopes she’ll reject him. Instead, her pure love for him purifies his heart and a small seed of hope grows in his soul. Can she truly love him?

 

A mysterious enemy is hell-bent on eliminating all the Du Lacs and when it’s finally revealed, no one is safe. War comes to Briton and Lancelot’s sons must work together to escape death and destruction… or is it too late?

 

The Du Lac Devil is darker than book one yet so much better. Yarde has done her research and she paints an accurate portrayal of sixth century Briton. Her descriptions of everyday life is spot-on, from the layout to the castle to torture to the Church to how women are treated.

 

The best parts of this book are the background of Lancelot Du Lac and Arthur Pendragon. Yarde weaves an intoxicating tale blending history with folklore.

 

This is why I’m a fan of historical fiction. I get to imagine what could’ve been and immerse myself into a particular fascinating time period.

 

If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones and/or The Vikings, you’ll love the back-stabbing/political jockeying in The Du Lac Devil. You’ll also love Josephine and Philippe.

 

I wait with bated breath for the next book in the series. I need to know what happens next!

 

Favorite Character:

Merton. I love rooting for the misunderstood often brooding underdog character. There were times when I didn’t like what the author was putting him through but I understand now why she did it. Merton is a tortured soul and yet when he falls in love with a pure soul, we catch a glimpse of the knight beneath the devil inside Merton.

 

Favorite Quote:

“An heir to the throne is hardly innocent.” He made himself smile, and he held his hand out towards her.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Du-Lac-Devil-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01N0FW1RU

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Du-Lac-Devil-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01N0FW1RU

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33014836-the-du-lac-devil

 

Mary Anne Yarde Head Shot

 

Author Biography:

Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury—the fabled Isle of Avalon—was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

 

At nineteen, Yarde married her childhood sweetheart and began a bachelor of arts in history at Cardiff University, only to have her studies interrupted by the arrival of her first child. She would later return to higher education, studying equine science at Warwickshire College. Horses and history remain two of her major passions.

 

Yarde keeps busy raising four children and helping run a successful family business. She has many skills but has never mastered cooking—so if you ever drop by, she (and her family) would appreciate some tasty treats or a meal out!

 

Social Media Links:

Blog

http://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/maryanneyarde/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/maryanneyarde

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29243164-the-du-lac-chronicles

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Asunder, A Novel of the Civil War by @CurtLock #TuesdayBookBlog #books #CivilWar


 asunder-cover-from-outskirts

 

Title:  Asunder, A Novel of the Civil War

Author: Curt Locklear

Genre:  Historical Fiction/ Romance

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Book Cover Credit:  Karen Phillips

Author Picture Credit:  Sandra Timm

 

Book Blurb:

Thrust into the middle of Civil War battle, with both Union and Rebel protagonists and antagonists, Asunder, the first in the Trilogy, is a story of love and loss and of families torn apart.

 

Thoroughly researched, the novel presents numerous complex, memorable characters struggling against incredible odds in an epic spanning from Texas to New York.

 

he story begins in frigid February, long after the battle. Cyntha Favor, an abolitionist and ardent believer in Spiritualism, searches the battlefield in hopes of finding her husband’s grave. Having received erroneous reports of his death, she hopes to free his tormented soul. During the Civil War, it is estimated that at least one-fifth of the population wholeheartedly believed in Spiritualism. Mary Lincoln held séances in the White House with President Lincoln in attendance. Sara Reeder, initially naïve and an ardent supporter of the Southern cause, is thrust into the battle maelstrom. An excellent horse-woman, she rides to warn the army of a surprise attack, but is too late. With battle all around, she aids wounded Union soldiers, and her zeal for the war changes forever.

 

In early 1861, both armies wore an assortment of uniforms. The Union had not adopted the standard blue uniform. Cyntha’s husband, a Union soldier, Iowa Grays volunteer, Joseph Favor, is found unconscious by Sara. Nursed to health by Sara and her father, Lucas, he awakens with no memory, unable to recall even the battle. The Reeders perceive him, since he is dressed in gray, to be a Confederate. Dred Workman, a conniving Iowan comrade and deserter to the Rebels, falsely identifies Joseph as a Cavalryman in the Third Texas.

 

The Reeder home is turned into a hospital. Soon, they are left to care for numerous wounded with no help from the army. Lucas blames Lincoln for the war. Based on an actual event, he holds a grudge against the president for something that happened before the war when Lincoln was a lawyer. Lucas and his slave have become friends, no longer slave and master. Sara and Joseph are romantically drawn to each other, but Joseph is haunted by fleeting images of his past. Joseph is called to join the cavalry. Will this parting keep them from being together? Joined by her freeman employee and confidant, Josiah Reynolds, Cyntha’s headstrong manner lands her in confinement by the Union army. She meets a dubious Spiritualist who convinces her that Joseph’s soul is indeed tormented.

 

Learning her brother is accused of robbery, and aided by a quirky Rebel supporter, Constance Carver, she plans escape. Her brother has problems of his own when the steamboat he is a passenger on sinks in a storm. The survivors are attacked by River Pirates. With Missouri marauder gangs closing in on the Reeder farm, the Spiritualist Fox sisters holding séances, and devastating battles, Asunder drives towards a devastating climax.

 

Excerpt:

“Am I going to die?” he said. He seemed less anxious and more curious.

Sara dried her hands on her skirt. I really do not know what to say, she thought. She had seen death before when a cow or calf had died. She had helped with the slaughtering of pigs, goats and chickens. She had attended funerals of friends and of her brothers when she was young and seen the bodies lying in coffins, but she had not seen this. She felt she could only dissuade him from the truth. She stroked his brow, “Of course not.  You’re just a little hurt. You’ll get better.”

“How come I can’t feel my legs?” he said. “I think I’m pretty hurt.”

Sara sat back in a kneeling position and saw the blood spilling from the soldier’s back and spreading, turning the grass russet. The blood had spread to stain her skirt as well. She struggled to hide her horror. Without thinking, and more to just be doing something, she set about rubbing his legs very hard.

“I’m kind of cold, miss,” he whispered, “Is there a blanket?”

Sara bit her lip to hold back her tears. To her, he had a face similar to her oldest brother.

Then his pupils fixed.

She stopped rubbing his legs and set her hands in her lap. Her mind refused to believe the young man had died. Time froze for her. Once again, she felt the pinch of nausea, but it was mixed with a deep sadness. Trying not to look at the startled expression on the lifeless face, she lightly shut his eyes.

With a deep breath, Sara rose and walked to the next wounded soldier lying on his back. She tore cloth from her skirt hem and bound his bloody shoulder. Three Rebel soldiers bent over the remaining wounded, staunching one soldier’s bleeding foot and binding the head-wound of another. The sergeant and a private gathered the remaining weapons from the dead and wounded soldiers and stacked them against a sweet gum tree.

In their little shaded forest hospital ward, the battle seemed far away. The deep forest muffled the sounds of battle which, once more, momentarily drifted away to almost nothing.

A slight-built Confederate said, “I wonder if we won this battle, or if the Yanks did.”

No one answered him. The battle no longer mattered, only caring for the wounded.

Sara continued to give directions, though she did not need to, for the soldiers bound the wounds with torn shirts taken from the dead and offered liquor from an earthenware jug that a Confederate had carried with him all through the battle. They labored in general silence. The slight-built one said to her, “I was wondering. Are you the general’s daughter?”

“No,” Sara, taken aback, laughed nervously. “I’m just here to help you to fight these Yanks and make them go home.”

A private, dressed in a smart gray uniform with his jacket open at the top, revealing a shirt with dainty flowered stripes, approached Sara and offered a weak smile. “Miss, would it be okay if you take a look at me, too.” He unbuttoned his jacket, revealing a red blossoming stain, then he slumped down.

Sara rushed to him, caught his arm and slowed his fall. This soldier, with long, tangled, blond locks spilling over his eyes, looked familiar, and a thought leapt to her mind that perhaps he was the one who had sung to her. She held her hand behind his head and helped him lie on the ground. “Give me some help here. One of ours is hurt badly.”

Sara brushed the hair from over his eyes and beheld a face she was sure was indeed too familiar.  Her mind raced, and her heart felt like it would burst from her chest. Breathing came hard for her, but she forced herself to ask the young, fair-skinned man lying cradled in her arms, “Did you two days ago sing a song for me in camp?”

The soldier looked puzzled, then stared off in the distance as if gathering a memory. He coughed a rattling cough. Looking back at her, he whispered, “I do like to sing.” Then he said something else, too soft for Sara to hear. His breathing became labored.

She bent closer to his lips, tears pooling in her eyes. “Please, say that again. I couldn’t understand you.” She looked into his eyes that seemed to hold no fear, but a sort of quiet resignation.  His clean-shaven face was pale though his cheeks were sunburnt, his thin lips chapped.

In a whisper she could barely hear, he breathed out, “Yes, I sang to you, and you gave me a tin of milk.” He smiled, the lids of his eyes fluttering to closed. “It was good milk. Reminded me of home.”

The other Confederates gathered around Sara and their fallen comrade. The sergeant unbuttoned the boy’s jacket and revealed the shirt, coated in blood. A jagged wound oozed dark maroon. The sergeant looked up at Sara. His eyes said it all. The young soldier, just like the Yankee cavalryman, had no hope.

Sara’s eyes flooded with tears, and she began shaking uncontrollably and wailing. “No!” she screamed between heaving gasps. “This is not what war is supposed to be!”

The old, gray sergeant gently took her arms and lifted her to her feet. She stumbled away with him supporting her. She sobbed and had trouble catching her breath and collapsed to the ground.

Somewhere in the caverns of her ears she heard one of the Confederates say, “Sergeant, he’s passed on.”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear/dp/1478770546/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

 

 

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asunder-curt-locklear/1123745873?ean=9781478769545

 

 

Outskirts Press

http://outskirtspress.net/bookstore/details/9781478769545

 

http://outskirtspress.com/webpage?isbn=9781478769545

 

Wordery Online books

https://wordery.com/asunder-curt-locklear-9781478769545

 

curt-playing-guitar

 

Author Biography:

CURT LOCKLEAR – award-winning author, history teacher, musician, composer, and positive education consultant.  In my career, I have delivered presentations to thousands, small and large groups. My talks are always sprinkled with jokes and intriguing stories. If asked, I can play a few Civil War era tunes on my banjo and/or guitar.

My father trained a race-horse in the Kentucky Derby. My mother was a librarian. I’m related to the first wing-walker. My heritage is Southern and Northern. My Rebel forbearer once cleverly hid from a Yankee squad in corn crib. My Yankee forbearer was a bugler.

 

Social Media Links:

Website https://curtlocklearauthor.com

Email curt@curtlocklearauthor.com

Twitter @CurtLock

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/curtlocklearauthor/

 

 

#CyberMonday Deal: The Du Lac Chronicles by @maryanneyarde is #FREE! #books #Kindle


The Du Lac Chronicles 10 Feb 2016 KINDLE

Title

The Du Lac Chronicles

Author

Mary Anne Yarde

Genre

Young Adult, Historical Fantasy, Romance

Black Friday Through Giving Tuesday Promotion

Free on Kindle from the 25th November to the 29th November 2016

Buy Links

Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/Du-Lac-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01CDK2MK0

Amazon.co.uk

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Du-Lac-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01CDK2MK0

Book Blurb

“An evocative, timeless saga of love and betrayal, it has rivalry and treachery enough for any ‘Game of Thrones’ aficionado.” Tony Riches, author of The Tudor Trilogy

“It is dangerous to become attached to a du Lac. He will break your heart, and you will not recover.” So prophesies a wizened healer to Annis, daughter of King Cerdic of Wessex. If there is truth in the old crone’s words, they come far too late for Annis, who defies father, king, and country to save the man she loves.

Alden du Lac, once king of Cerniw, has nothing. Betrayed by Cerdic, Alden’s kingdom lies in rubble, his fort razed to the ground and his brother Merton missing, presumably dead. He has only one possession left worth saving: his heart. And to the horror of his few remaining allies, he gives that to the daughter of his enemy. They see Annis, at best, as a bargaining chip to avoid war with her powerful father. At worst, they see a Saxon whore with her claws in a broken, wounded king.

Alden has one hope: When you war with one du Lac, you war with them all. His brother Budic, King of Brittany, could offer the deposed young king sanctuary—but whether he will offer the same courtesy to Annis is far less certain.

Excerpt

“I just need to stop for a few moments.” Alden lifted his arm off Annis’s shoulder and leant against the wall. He was sweating profusely, the salt of his sweat stinging his wounds and his eyes. He honestly didn’t know how much longer he could keep this up. At least David had been right about the soldier’s barracks. It was empty. There was no way he could have fought anyone feeling like he did now.

He had always felt that he was fated to die young, but he had hoped he would at least make it to twenty ¾ so much for hope.

The acute pain passed, and he took a moment to watch Annis. He saw the way she rolled her shoulders, how she moved the heavy torch to her other hand. She must be exhausted, yet she didn’t complain. Her hair was damp and it had curled into soft ringlets. He reached forward and touched one of her wayward curls. The curl wound its way around his finger and he felt the softness of her hair. It was beautiful. The pain must be making him delirious, for he had the strongest urge to pull her closer, to learn the taste of her lips, to feel her body against his. He lowered his hand and closed his eyes, willing away the temptation.

“Thank you for not leaving me behind,” Annis said, her voice coming out a little breathless. She had not dared to move as Alden played with her hair. She knew it was not the proper thing to allow a man to touch her, but she could not bring herself to stop him. In fact, she wanted more than a gentle fondling of her hair, although what her body yearned for she did not really understand. All she knew was that he made her feel flustered and hot, excited and nervous, all at the same time. Her knuckles still tingled where his lips had brushed against them earlier, and she wondered if they would ever feel the same again.

“I will keep you safe.” He found himself promising the most ridiculous thing. He couldn’t defend himself at this moment in time, let alone her.

“I just want you to live,” Annis answered. “Thank you for what happened with David. I don’t know what would have happened if I had been left down there.”

“I wouldn’t have left you there and nor would have David. He would have worried that you would drink his wine,” Alden said solemnly.

Annis smiled softly at his teasing. “I thought about it! How long have you known him?”

“A long time.”

“How long?”

“Long enough.” Alden smiled.

“Has anyone ever told you that you are infuriating?” Annis asked.

Alden’s smile widened. “It has been mentioned.” Another wave of pain washed over him and he closed his eyes.

“Keep breathing.”

He had held his breath again; he hadn’t realised. He felt Annis’s hand on his arm and he breathed deeply of the stale, rodent-filled air. When the pain passed, she let go of his arm and stepped back.

He watched her as she looked away from him. She raised the torch so she could see a little farther down the tunnel, which looked remarkably similar to what they had just walked down. They could be walking in circles for all they knew.

For a moment neither said anything and then after a long awkward pause, Alden said, “David’s father was my father’s groom, here in Briton. David was only a boy when Arthur fell to your father’s sword. Cerdic slaughtered David’s mother and his two older brothers, but he enslaved David and his father. His father continued to spy for us and then when he died, David took over the role. That was also when David turned to drink. He didn’t handle his grief very well.”

“My father has ruined so many lives.”

“Well, he did one thing right,” Alden allowed.

“What?”

“He had you.”

Annis blushed at his words and she couldn’t hold his gaze. “We should really try and keep walking,” she said, raising her face to catch his eyes before lowering her gaze again.

He moved himself off the wall and put his arm around her shoulder. “It wasn’t luck that saved me. It was you. I asked you before, but you didn’t answer. Why did you do it?”

“You wouldn’t understand,” she mumbled in embarrassment.

“You would be surprised by what I can understand.” He tried to keep his voice conversational and light, for he saw the way her body had tensed.

She turned slowly back around and looked at him. “I did not want to see you lose your head.” She quickly looked away from him, so that he would not see her face and she would not have to look into those all-knowing eyes. How could she possibly reveal what she felt for him?

“And why would that matter to you if I did?” He challenged softly. “I am nothing to you, Annis, but another player in the dangerous game of kingship and power.”

“I apologise for saving you,” Annis said, annoyed with him for questioning her about something she could not explain without humiliating herself.

“I’m not implying I am ungrateful. I just want to know the truth. I’m having a little issue with trust at the moment.”

She stopped and sighed heavily. She could tell him part of the truth; there would be no harm in that. “My father has arranged for me to be married,” she stated.

Mary Anne Yarde Head Shot

Author Biography

Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury—the fabled Isle of Avalon—was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

At nineteen, Yarde married her childhood sweetheart and began a bachelor of arts in history at Cardiff University, only to have her studies interrupted by the arrival of her first child. She would later return to higher education, studying equine science at Warwickshire College. Horses and history remain two of her major passions.

Yarde keeps busy raising four children and helping run a successful family business. She has many skills but has never mastered cooking—so if you ever drop by, she (and her family) would appreciate some tasty treats or a meal out!

Social Media Links

Blog

http://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/maryanneyarde/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/maryanneyarde

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29243164-the-du-lac-chronicles

#TrailerReveal – The Soldier’s Return by @LauraLibricz #books #HistoricalFiction


soldiersreturn-700k

 

Title: The Soldier’s Return (Book #2 in the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy)

Author: Laura Libricz

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Blue Heron Book Works, Allentown PA, USA

 

Book Blurb :

Germany, 1626

A senseless war rips through parts of Germany. Ongoing animosity between the Catholics and the Protestants has turned into an excuse to destroy much of the landscape in the territories situated between France, Italy and Denmark. But religion only plays a minor role in this very lucrative business of war. What better way to wage war than with underpaid, starving, sick, desperate mercenary soldiers?

Direct in the path of these marauding mercenaries lies the once-idyllic farm called Sichardtshof. The master and the maid have lived here the last ten years in a semblance of peace but teetering on the edge of destruction. The attacks are more frequent and the soldiers are more brutal than before. With the soldiers come disease, the plague. And Franconia has found scapegoats to blame for all this misfortune. Witch hunts and executions are more prevalent than ever.

The Soldier’s Return, Book 2 in the Heaven’s Pond trilogy, revisits Katarina and Isabeau and their journey of survival in the lawless German countryside of the early 17th century.

The Soldier’s Return releases March 2017!

 

Trailer Reveal:

 

 

Buy Links :

To Be Released in March 2017

Read Book #1, The Master and the Maid: http://amzn.to/2bLrm8R

 

laura-libricz

Author Biography :

Laura Libricz was born and raised in Bethlehem PA and moved to Upstate New York when she was 22. After working a few years building Steinberger guitars, she received a scholarship to go to college. She tried to ‘do the right thing’ and study something useful, but spent all her time reading German literature.

 

She earned a BA in German at The College of New Paltz, NY in 1991 and moved to Germany, where she resides today. When she isn’t writing she can be found sifting through city archives, picking through castle ruins or aiding the steady flood of musical instruments into the world market.

 

Her first novel, The Master and the Maid, is the first book of the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy. The Soldier’s Return and Ash and Rubble are the second and third books in the series.

 

Social Media Links :

All my links at a glance: https://about.me/lauralibricz

Asunder, A Novel of the Civil War by @CurtLock #BookReview #HistoricalFiction


asunder-cover-from-outskirts

 

Title: Asunder, A Novel of the Civil War

Author: Curt Locklear

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance, Civil War

 

Book Blurb:

“I’M TRAPPED!” Sara Reeder, a headstrong, beguiling, Southern sympathizer is caught between charging armies!

 

“AWAKEN, SPIRITS”… “Tell me where my husband, Joseph, fell in battle.” Cyntha Favor, an ardent abolitionist and believer in Spiritualism, seeks to free her dead husband’s tormented soul.

 

EXCEPT… Joseph, a Union soldier, is not dead! Knocked unconscious in battle, he has lost all memory. Nursed to health by Sara and her father, Lucas, a disabled veteran, Joseph feels drawn to Sara, yet compelled to find his past.

 

WAR SURROUNDS the Reeder home. Transformed into a field hospital, their only support is Dred Workman, a Union traitor.

 

FORMER SLAVE, Josiah Reynolds, is protector and confidant of Cyntha. Deep in slave territory, he knows the danger he faces.

 

THE FOX SISTERS –President Lincoln’s wife invited spiritualists to invoke séances in the White House. These most famous of all Spiritualists become Cyntha’s hope.

 

MARAUDERS terrorize, kill and move ever closer to the Reeders’ farm.

 

With RIVER PIRATES, INTENSE BATTLES, and CAPTIVATING ROMANCE, from Texas to New York, Missouri to Minnesota, the WAR rages. Can love triumph? Who will survive? ASUNDER is a GRIPPING EPIC.

 

My Review:

I have studied the Civil War for decades and this book is an accurate portrayal of that time period.  The author really brings to life the world of the 1860’s Missouri.  The characters of Joe, Cyntha, Sara, Lucas and Dred, amongst others are very well crafted and quickly a reader finds himself caring for what will happen to each character.  The story runs in relatively three distinct plot lines that are deeply interwoven.  The author very accurately portrays not only that war is killing and death but he also amazingly brings to light the fog of war. I have rarely seen anything outside of unit battle diaries that offer such a succinct feel for that key aspect of war.  I really enjoyed Joseph in the army and Sara and her family not to mention Cyntha and her protector Josiah.

 

It was not clear to me as a reader that this was part one of three until late in the book.  Further, I was more than disrupted by the constant flash backs and flash forwards.  It was extremely confusing at times to go from six months ahead to five months back to three days later to six months back, etc.  Had this book been crafted in a smooth chronological order, it would have been 5 stars.

 

I personally found the portrayal of the river pirates and the Jayhawks to be too realistic and offensive.  Fans of Games of Thrones/Walking Dead/Vikings will appreciate the lawlessness and disgusting behavior.  I could do with much less of it.  There is enough in the basis of the story with the war and all the turmoil and drama without the extra aspects.

 

A worthy read and now I must read part two to see what happens to Cyntha as she tries to find her brother.

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon    Asunder, hardback

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear/dp/1478770546/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

 

Amazon   Asunder, Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear-ebook/dp/B01FINGN9U/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

Amazon    Asunder paperback

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear/dp/1478769548/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

 

Barnes and Noble paperback

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asunder-curt-locklear/1123745873?ean=9781478769545

 

Barnes and Noble hardcover

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asunder-curt-locklear/1123745873?ean=9781478770541

 

Outskirts Press

http://outskirtspress.net/bookstore/details/9781478769545

http://outskirtspress.com/webpage?isbn=9781478769545

 

Wordery Online books

https://wordery.com/asunder-curt-locklear-9781478769545

 

curt-playing-guitar

 

Author Biography:

CURT LOCKLEAR – award-winning author, history teacher, musician, composer, and positive education consultant.  In my career, I have delivered presentations to thousands, small and large groups. My talks are always sprinkled with jokes and intriguing stories. If asked, I can play a few Civil War era tunes on my banjo and/or guitar.

My father trained a race-horse in the Kentucky Derby. My mother was a librarian. I’m related to the first wing-walker. My heritage is Southern and Northern. My Rebel forbearer once cleverly hid from a Yankee squad in corn crib. My Yankee forbearer was a bugler.

 

Social Media Links:

Website https://curtlocklearauthor.com

Email curt@curtlocklearauthor.com

Twitter @CurtLock

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/curtlocklearauthor/

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

Sara Reeder from Asunder by @CurtLock Sits Down With N. N. Light #interview #books


asunder-cover-from-outskirts

 

Sara Reeder – 17 years old, lives on a dairy farm south of Springfield, Missouri, near Wilson Creek

 

My name is Sara Reeder. I’m the only daughter of Lucas Reeder. My three poor brothers are all dead and buried in a little plot near our home. I pray for them each day. The oldest two died when I was six when they went to tussling and fell in a pit of rattlesnakes. We could not save ‘em. My other brother died a few weeks later of a bilious fever of some sort. My ma died when I was about two, so I have no recollection of her. Our slave, my dearest Abram, cared for me and played with me and taught me to read. I have lived with my pa and Abram all these years. He’s a retired army major and mostly deaf because a cannon exploded in the War with Mexico. War is all around us now. It is horrid and fills me with dread. I wish the Yanks would just go home and leave us alone.

 

Which living person do you admire the most?

I so admire my pa with his strong arms and advisement. He’s as strong as an ox. He hates the Yankee president. That Lincoln cheated his friend out of justice usin’ his lawyer wiles and slippery tongue.  My pa loves the Yanks and our Southern boys and wants no more war, and desires to have a comeuppance for Lincoln for bringin’ this war upon the land. His best friend is our slave, Abram.

 Which talent would you most like to have?

Though folks tell me I’ve got a gladsome singin’ voice, I wish for all the world I could play an instrument like our dear Abram does when he plays his banja. He brings such joy to us all, includin’ the soldier boys. He’s gray-headed now and his old hands get some pained, but he’s brave, and I love him so.

What is your most marked characteristic?

You mean my unbecoming attribute? Well, my pa would say it’s my bullheadedness. I see a path that needs followin’ and I do it. I ain’t as a’feared as I oughta be. I guess you’d say I need to let others’ calumny just abide. But I can’t. Pa worries that I have too much fight in me.

Who are your favorite writers?

Well, my pa has a slew of books on botany and the sciences, but I prefer the great novelists, Alexander Dumas and Cervantes.  Of an occasion, I’ll read a tract of some minor author, but my books are my treasures. And, of course, I dwell often on God’s holy word in the Bible.

 

Which living person do you most despise?

There’s none to compare with that foul snake, Frank Richards. He’s bent on stealin’ our livestock and craves to rape me. He’s out there, runnin’ with them marauders, bringin’ devastation to the land.

 

 Who is the greatest love of your life?

I’ll admit I was often smitten with a handsome face and a beguiling singin’ voice, but my heart belongs now entirely to Joseph Favor. I believe God’s hand brought us together, and though he went off with the cavalry, I will find him and be a good wife to him.

 What is your greatest fear?

I have two fears. One is that this loathsome war will go on forever. The fightin’ and the dyin’.  My second fear is that Joseph will not have me. He’s so conflicted, what with his memory thwarted. I know he loves me but he’s in a powerful lonely place.

 

 

Title:  Asunder, A Novel of the Civil War

Author: Curt Locklear

Genre:  Historical Fiction/ Romance

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Book Cover Credit:  Karen Phillips

Author Picture Credit:  Sandra Timm

 

Book Blurb:

“I’M TRAPPED!” Sara Reeder, a headstrong, beguiling, Southern sympathizer is caught between charging armies!

“AWAKEN, SPIRITS”… “Tell me where my husband, Joseph, fell in battle.” Cyntha Favor, an ardent abolitionist and believer in Spiritualism, seeks to free her dead husband’s tormented soul.

EXCEPT… Joseph, a Union soldier, is not dead! Knocked unconscious in battle, he has lost all memory. Nursed to health by Sara and her father, Lucas, a disabled veteran, Joseph feels drawn to Sara, yet compelled to find his past.

WAR SURROUNDS the Reeder home. Transformed into a field hospital, their only support is Dred Workman, a Union traitor.

FORMER SLAVE, Josiah Reynolds, is protector and confidant of Cyntha. Deep in slave territory, he knows the danger he faces.

THE FOX SISTERS –President Lincoln’s wife invited spiritualists to invoke séances in the White House. These most famous of all Spiritualists become Cyntha’s hope.

MARAUDERS terrorize, kill and move ever closer to the Reeders’ farm.

With RIVER PIRATES, INTENSE BATTLES, and CAPTIVATING ROMANCE,

from Texas to New York, Missouri to Minnesota, the WAR rages. Can love triumph? Who will survive? ASUNDER is a GRIPPING EPIC.

 

Excerpt:

Sara looked down at the embers and then at the white smoke that rose between her and Joseph. “These embers are your love for an unknown woman, and this smoke is hiding me from you.”

“My whole life is clouded with smoke,” Joseph responded. “I need your patience and time.”

Sara lowered her eyes.

Joseph looked admiringly at her, then began to pull the wet clothes out of the caldron and loaded them into a handcart. His sleeves were rolled up, but he still got his shirt wet. Sara, too, gathered the bulky clothing, soaking her blouse. She wiped a wisp of hair from her forehead with her wrist. Joseph watched her. Though he felt confusion about the woman in his flashes of memories, he felt an overpowering attraction to this petite, tough-minded girl. He was grateful for her benevolence towards him. He would miss her singing and her smiles. He felt conflicted, bound both to the woman of his dream and to Sara.

He grabbed the handles of the barrow and forced it forward. Not speaking, they cut to the south through the trees on a meandering path, Sara walking a few feet behind him. The hot sun bore down on them, riffling in and out of wisps of clouds. At length, they reached the clear creek, flowing steadily, the bed filled with large, round, smooth rocks protruding above the waterline. The sunlight danced and shimmered on the water. Yellow, curled, elm tree leaves floated on the water like tiny golden boats. More leaves tumbled from the trees with each breeze gust. Turtles basked on the sun-drenched rocks.

Sara picked a daisy by the water’s edge. She twirled it, ran it briefly under her nose, kissed the petals, then handed the flower to Joseph. He took it, smelled it, and placed it on a shelf rock near the stream. Sara pulled her skirt hem up and tucked the front and back into the waistband, revealing her strong legs from halfway up her thigh, down to her ankles. “I know no other way to do this without ruining my skirt,” she said, blushing. “I hope you don’t find me untoward.”

Joseph rolled his pants legs up to his knees. “Not at all. We’ve got to get these clothes done for the soldiers. I hope the glare of the sun off my white legs doesn’t blind you.”

Sara giggled.

They removed their footwear and socks and rolled up their sleeves to the shoulder. Sara tied her hair back with a pink ribbon from her skirt pocket.

Together, they unloaded the soapy clothes on the rocks, then taking a piece at a time, they dragged the clothes through the flowing stream until the suds were washed free. After that, they wrung the water out and spread each garment and bandage cloth on a sun-blanched rock to dry. Whenever Sara was bent, rinsing a piece, Joseph watched her. When she raised up, he ducked his head, working with his own shirt or cloth, at which time, he noticed out of the corner of his eye Sara sneaking a look at him. Neither said anything to the other. Joseph struggled to think of a clever or uplifting thing to say, but his mind was crisscrossed.  I wish she’d sing, he thought. Occasionally, Sara splashed some of the cool water on her sunburned cheeks.

The water was cold despite the late summer heat. Goosebumps rose on their legs and arms. By the time they were finishing, the fronts of their own clothes were again soaked.  Sara’s white shirt pressed against the corset of her full breasts, following their contour. A ribbon of water trickled down her neck.

When she laid out the last pair of trousers, she turned to Joseph. He had quit his awkward glances, and now stared at her with complete admiration. He walked carefully to her, for the flat rock bottom of the stream was smooth and slippery with algae. He placed one hand around her waist and pulled her to him, their feet sliding on the glass-like surface of the stream bed. With his other hand, he traced the outline of her chin, then softly touched her cheek.

Her heart racing, Sara raised her arms, placing one about his waist, the other at his shoulder. She glided that hand up and down his neck in a slow, deliberate, affectionate manner.

He stroked her wet arms, feeling the suppleness and the tightness of her muscles. Her skin shivered with pleasure under his touch. With his forefinger he brushed her full lips. She closed her eyes, and ran her fingers into his blond locks and gently tilted his head towards hers till their foreheads touched. They held each other in that manner, her with eyes closed, deep in his embrace while he gazed at the loveliest face he knew.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon    Asunder, hardback

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear/dp/1478770546/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

 

Amazon   Asunder, Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear-ebook/dp/B01FINGN9U/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

Amazon    Asunder paperback

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear/dp/1478769548/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

 

Barnes and Noble paperback

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asunder-curt-locklear/1123745873?ean=9781478769545

 

Barnes and Noble hardcover

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asunder-curt-locklear/1123745873?ean=9781478770541

 

Outskirts Press

http://outskirtspress.net/bookstore/details/9781478769545

http://outskirtspress.com/webpage?isbn=9781478769545

 

Wordery Online books

https://wordery.com/asunder-curt-locklear-9781478769545

 

curt-playing-guitar

 

Author Biography:

CURT LOCKLEAR – award-winning author, history teacher, musician, composer, and positive education consultant.  In my career, I have delivered presentations to thousands, small and large groups. My talks are always sprinkled with jokes and intriguing stories. If asked, I can play a few Civil War era tunes on my banjo and/or guitar.

My father trained a race-horse in the Kentucky Derby. My mother was a librarian. I’m related to the first wing-walker. My heritage is Southern and Northern. My Rebel forbearer once cleverly hid from a Yankee squad in corn crib. My Yankee forbearer was a bugler.

 

Social Media Links:

Website https://curtlocklearauthor.com

Email curt@curtlocklearauthor.com

Twitter @CurtLock

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/curtlocklearauthor/

 

 

 

#TrailerReveal – Asunder, A Novel of the Civil War by Curt Locklear @CurtLock #FridayReads #Romance


 asunder-cover-from-outskirts

 

Title:  Asunder, A Novel of the Civil War

Author: Curt Locklear

Genre:  Historical Fiction/ Romance

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Book Cover Credit:  Karen Phillips

Author Picture Credit:  Sandra Timm

 

Book Blurb:

“I’M TRAPPED!” Sara Reeder, a headstrong, beguiling, Southern sympathizer is caught between charging armies!

“AWAKEN, SPIRITS”… “Tell me where my husband, Joseph, fell in battle.” Cyntha Favor, an ardent abolitionist and believer in Spiritualism, seeks to free her dead husband’s tormented soul.

EXCEPT… Joseph, a Union soldier, is not dead! Knocked unconscious in battle, he has lost all memory. Nursed to health by Sara and her father, Lucas, a disabled veteran, Joseph feels drawn to Sara, yet compelled to find his past.

WAR SURROUNDS the Reeder home. Transformed into a field hospital, their only support is Dred Workman, a Union traitor.

FORMER SLAVE, Josiah Reynolds, is protector and confidant of Cyntha. Deep in slave territory, he knows the danger he faces.

THE FOX SISTERS –President Lincoln’s wife invited spiritualists to invoke séances in the White House. These most famous of all Spiritualists become Cyntha’s hope.

MARAUDERS terrorize, kill and move ever closer to the Reeders’ farm.

With RIVER PIRATES, INTENSE BATTLES, and CAPTIVATING ROMANCE,

from Texas to New York, Missouri to Minnesota, the WAR rages. Can love triumph? Who will survive? ASUNDER is a GRIPPING EPIC.

 

Book Trailer Reveal:

 

Excerpt:

“Am I going to die?” he said. He seemed less anxious and more curious.

Sara dried her hands on her skirt. I really do not know what to say, she thought. She had seen death before when a cow or calf had died. She had helped with the slaughtering of pigs, goats and chickens. She had attended funerals of friends and of her brothers when she was young and seen the bodies lying in coffins, but she had not seen this. She felt she could only dissuade him from the truth. She stroked his brow, “Of course not.  You’re just a little hurt. You’ll get better.”

“How come I can’t feel my legs?” he said. “I think I’m pretty hurt.”

Sara sat back in a kneeling position and saw the blood spilling from the soldier’s back and spreading, turning the grass russet. The blood had spread to stain her skirt as well. She struggled to hide her horror. Without thinking, and more to just be doing something, she set about rubbing his legs very hard.

“I’m kind of cold, miss,” he whispered, “Is there a blanket?”

Sara bit her lip to hold back her tears. To her, he had a face similar to her oldest brother.

Then his pupils fixed.

She stopped rubbing his legs and set her hands in her lap. Her mind refused to believe the young man had died. Time froze for her. Once again, she felt the pinch of nausea, but it was mixed with a deep sadness. Trying not to look at the startled expression on the lifeless face, she lightly shut his eyes.

With a deep breath, Sara rose and walked to the next wounded soldier lying on his back. She tore cloth from her skirt hem and bound his bloody shoulder. Three Rebel soldiers bent over the remaining wounded, staunching one soldier’s bleeding foot and binding the head-wound of another. The sergeant and a private gathered the remaining weapons from the dead and wounded soldiers and stacked them against a sweet gum tree.

In their little shaded forest hospital ward, the battle seemed far away. The deep forest muffled the sounds of battle which, once more, momentarily drifted away to almost nothing.

A slight-built Confederate said, “I wonder if we won this battle, or if the Yanks did.”

No one answered him. The battle no longer mattered, only caring for the wounded.

Sara continued to give directions, though she did not need to, for the soldiers bound the wounds with torn shirts taken from the dead and offered liquor from an earthenware jug that a Confederate had carried with him all through the battle. They labored in general silence. The slight-built one said to her, “I was wondering. Are you the general’s daughter?”

“No,” Sara, taken aback, laughed nervously. “I’m just here to help you to fight these Yanks and make them go home.”

A private, dressed in a smart gray uniform with his jacket open at the top, revealing a shirt with dainty flowered stripes, approached Sara and offered a weak smile. “Miss, would it be okay if you take a look at me, too.” He unbuttoned his jacket, revealing a red blossoming stain, then he slumped down.

Sara rushed to him, caught his arm and slowed his fall. This soldier, with long, tangled, blond locks spilling over his eyes, looked familiar, and a thought leapt to her mind that perhaps he was the one who had sung to her. She held her hand behind his head and helped him lie on the ground. “Give me some help here. One of ours is hurt badly.”

Sara brushed the hair from over his eyes and beheld a face she was sure was indeed too familiar.  Her mind raced, and her heart felt like it would burst from her chest. Breathing came hard for her, but she forced herself to ask the young, fair-skinned man lying cradled in her arms, “Did you two days ago sing a song for me in camp?”

The soldier looked puzzled, then stared off in the distance as if gathering a memory. He coughed a rattling cough. Looking back at her, he whispered, “I do like to sing.” Then he said something else, too soft for Sara to hear. His breathing became labored.

She bent closer to his lips, tears pooling in her eyes. “Please, say that again. I couldn’t understand you.” She looked into his eyes that seemed to hold no fear, but a sort of quiet resignation.  His clean-shaven face was pale though his cheeks were sunburnt, his thin lips chapped.

In a whisper she could barely hear, he breathed out, “Yes, I sang to you, and you gave me a tin of milk.” He smiled, the lids of his eyes fluttering to closed. “It was good milk. Reminded me of home.”

The other Confederates gathered around Sara and their fallen comrade. The sergeant unbuttoned the boy’s jacket and revealed the shirt, coated in blood. A jagged wound oozed dark maroon. The sergeant looked up at Sara. His eyes said it all. The young soldier, just like the Yankee cavalryman, had no hope.

Sara’s eyes flooded with tears, and she began shaking uncontrollably and wailing. “No!” she screamed between heaving gasps. “This is not what war is supposed to be!”

The old, gray sergeant gently took her arms and lifted her to her feet. She stumbled away with him supporting her. She sobbed and had trouble catching her breath and collapsed to the ground.

Somewhere in the caverns of her ears she heard one of the Confederates say, “Sergeant, he’s passed on.”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon    Asunder, hardback

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear/dp/1478770546/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

 

Amazon   Asunder, Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear-ebook/dp/B01FINGN9U/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

Amazon    Asunder paperback

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear/dp/1478769548/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

 

Barnes and Noble paperback

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asunder-curt-locklear/1123745873?ean=9781478769545

 

Barnes and Noble hardcover

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asunder-curt-locklear/1123745873?ean=9781478770541

 

Outskirts Press

http://outskirtspress.net/bookstore/details/9781478769545

http://outskirtspress.com/webpage?isbn=9781478769545

 

Wordery Online books

https://wordery.com/asunder-curt-locklear-9781478769545

 

curt-playing-guitar

 

Author Biography:

CURT LOCKLEAR – award-winning author, history teacher, musician, composer, and positive education consultant.  In my career, I have delivered presentations to thousands, small and large groups. My talks are always sprinkled with jokes and intriguing stories. If asked, I can play a few Civil War era tunes on my banjo and/or guitar.

My father trained a race-horse in the Kentucky Derby. My mother was a librarian. I’m related to the first wing-walker. My heritage is Southern and Northern. My Rebel forbearer once cleverly hid from a Yankee squad in corn crib. My Yankee forbearer was a bugler.

 

Social Media Links:

Website https://curtlocklearauthor.com

Email curt@curtlocklearauthor.com

Twitter @CurtLock

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/curtlocklearauthor/

 

potl-reads-2

We’re celebrating books and authors all October on the POTL Blog. Follow #POTLReads on Twitter to not miss our recommendations and to offer your own! Spread the Word! 

Yellow Hair by Andrew Joyce @huckfinn76 #bookreview #historicalfiction #POTLReads


yellow-hair

 

Title: Yellow Hair

Author: Andrew Joyce

Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

Yellow Hair documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage written about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in this fact-based tale of fiction were real people and the author uses their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century. This is American history.

 

My Review:

I’m a big fan of historical fiction. Why? I get to experience history and when it’s done right, reading it changes me as a person and I see the world in a whole new light. I’m fairly familiar with the atrocities foisted upon the Sioux Nation in the 19th century through my schooling and my childhood friends (Sioux) but in Yellow Hair, Andrew Joyce unveils what really happened.

 

“This is American History,” states Joyce and I applaud him for using real names and events while weaving his protagonist throughout. Joyce’s research is spot-on and historically accurate.

 

Yellow Hair is a book every single American (and Canadian) needs to read. Joyce plunges the reader into history and instead of being a passive observer, the reader is suffering right along with their Sioux brothers and sisters. This is the real history and we cannot stand idly by and have history repeat itself.

 

Another fantastic gem from Andrew Joyce and I highly recommend it, especially if you love historical fiction!

 

Favorite Character:

Yellow Hair. Not since reading Jane M. Auel have I been so connected to a historical fiction character as I did with Yellow Hair. He’s the vehicle Joyce uses to show the reader the real American history and I got to experience everything Yellow Hair witnessed. The most amazing thing is that Yellow Hair really existed and after reading this, I still feel him with me.

 

Favorite Quote:

“The coming of the White Man would forever change the fortunes of the people of the plains— more often than not for the worse. Very few White Men had a positive influence on the Indians. But there were a few. One of those men was Jacob Ariesen.”

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Yellow-Hair-Andrew-Joyce-ebook/dp/B01LXOXHBI

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32285027-yellow-hair

 

Andrew Joyce

 

Author Biography:

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://huckfinn76.com/

Twitter http://twitter.com/huckfinn76

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-Joyce/595023267193024?ref=hl

Blog http://andrewjoyce.wordpress.com/

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

The Dragon of Alsace Farm by @laurielclewis is a Touching Book #bookreview #RRBC #books


the-dragons-of-alsace-farm

 

Title: The Dragons of Alsace Farm

Author: Laurie Lewis

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Dementia

 

Book Blurb:

In need of his own redemption, Noah Carter finally confronts his childhood hero, the once-beloved uncle who betrayed him. Instead of vengeance, he offers forgiveness, also granting Uncle John a most curious request—for Noah to work on the ramshackle farm of Agnes Deveraux Keller, a French WWII survivor with dementia.

 

Despite all Agnes has lost, she still has much to teach Noah. But the pair’s unique friendship is threatened when Tayte, Agnes’s estranged granddaughter, arrives to claim a woman whose circumstances and abilities are far different from those of the grandmother she once knew.

 

Items hidden in Agnes’s attic raise painful questions about Tayte’s dead parents, steeling Tayte’s determination to save Agnes, even if it requires her to betray the very woman she came to save, and the secret her proud grandmother has guarded for seventy years.

 

The issue strains the fragile trust between Tayte and Noah, who now realizes Tayte is fighting her own secrets, her own dragons. Weighed down by past guilt and failures, he feels ill-equipped to help either woman, until he remembers Agnes’s lessons about courage and love. In order to save Agnes, the student must now become the teacher, helping Tayte heal—for Agnes’s sake, and for his.

 

Trailer:

 

My Review:

Everyone has their own dragons to slay yet many don’t realize love is the only weapon to defeat the dragons.

 

The Dragons of Alsace Farm by Laurie Lewis is a heart-wrenching story of love, loss, overcoming family secrets, dementia and forgiveness. Noah, Agnes and Tayte are the main characters in this moving story and I was instantly drawn to each of them. I related to them on a very personal level, which only added to the realism of the book.

 

Lewis grabs the reader with a smooth plot, complex characters and conflict, emotional tension, WWII historical background, a touching romance and a strong message. What really hit home for me was how Lewis so accurately portrayed how dementia strips away a person’s life, moment by moment.

 

If you’re a fan of Nicholas Sparks and looking for a poignant story, go right now and pick up The Dragons of Alsace Farm.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Dragons-Alsace-Farm-Laurie-Lewis-ebook/dp/B01HKMU014

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30761293-the-dragons-of-alsace-farm

 

Author Biography:

Laurie (L.C.) Lewis began her career under contract with Covenant Communications in 2004, moving to Walnut Springs Press in 2010, during which time she published seven books. “The Dragons of Alsace Farm,” her most recent release, which debuted in July 2016, was inspired by her family’s experiences supporting a loved one with dementia. She calls this book a four-year love project.

 

While Laurie Lewis is best known for her much celebrated historical fiction series, “Free Men and Dreamers,” she writes different genres under several pen names–general fiction as Laurie Lewis, historical fiction and suspense as L.C. Lewis, and she will be assuming another pen name for a pending romance novel she’s contracted for Gelato Books’ “Destination Billionaire’s Series.”

 

Laurie Lewis love to hear from her readers. “Thank you so much for visiting my author page and looking over my titles. Reviews are the best way to acknowledge a book you enjoy, so if you’re so inclined, please let others know how you felt about my books via Amazon, Goodreads, or shout out about my book on Facebook or Twitter. Feel free to mail me at laurielclewis@laurielclewis.com . I love to chat! My official web site can be found at www.laurielclewis.com , and I hope you’ll stop by the newsletter link and sign up for news on projects and free books!

 

“Always remember love.”

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Anything You Ask of Me by @Heather_Curley Transports You #books #NA #historicalfiction


Anything You Ask Of Me
Heather Curley
Publication date: July 31st 2016
Genres: Historical, New Adult

Although her home state of Maryland hasn’t sworn allegiance to either Union or Confederacy, twenty-two-year-old Elizabeth Archer’s life is shattered. Her father has fled North, abandoning the household. The man she loved—and who married her sister instead— is killed in battle. Elizabeth’s life of parties and societal obligations dwindles down to isolation and too many empty hours; hours to mourn the man who gave her up to chase an inheritance.

She meets Confederate general Jeb Stuart by chance and, in an instant, she’s the center of his attention.

As commander of the Army of Northern Virginia’s cavalry division, General Stuart doesn’t ask, he orders. The attraction seems mutual and, flattered by his affection, Elizabeth agrees to spy for the Confederacy. She’s Stuart’s La Belle Rebelle, the Beautiful Rebel; the siren of the south. She’s notorious in the Union and lauded in the Confederacy. And she’s falling in love with him.

Notoriety, however, is a spy’s worst enemy. Now pursued by a Federal officer tasked to stop her at any cost, Elizabeth faces the sentence of hanging if she’s convicted of treason against the Union. Devoted to a cause she doesn’t believe in and with Federal blood on her hands, Elizabeth must save herself—or die a traitor.

Time is running out. And no one, not even La Belle Rebelle, can outrun the war.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT:

He stood alone in the parlor, examining a horrendous portrait of her mother that Sarah insisted be left above the fireplace. Hat hooked over his first two fingers, he tapped it against his leg with a certain sense of idleness common in someone tired of waiting.

“It is not a decent likeness of my mother.” She tilted her head toward the portrait. “Maybe in the eyes, but the artist was paid far greater than his ability deserved.”

“It does me well to see you again, Miss Archer.” He smiled and bowed slightly.

“It is a pleasure to be in your company again, General Stuart.” He wasn’t much taller than she, enough that she had to tilt her chin up to look him in the face, but there was something intimidating about him. Perhaps it was his broad shoulders, or the cut of his uniform. She wasn’t entirely sure, but he made it hard to keep her wits. “Did you fare well in Virginia?”

“I always do.” He held her hand a moment, then pressed her knuckles to his lips. “Although, I must say I much prefer the company I find in Maryland.”

“You only say that now. It will be a less desirable place if the Yankees decide to return.” She flushed.

“Do you anticipate their return?”

“Should I?”

He chuckled, looking much younger when he laughed. She couldn’t imagine he was that much older than her. Not that it mattered. “I do believe they would find fierce resistance in you, Miss Archer, should they attempt to cross the threshold of this fine home.”

“When my father left, he certainly did not leave behind a coward.” Heat filled her cheeks. He still hadn’t let go of her hand.

“I wasn’t aware your father had left.”

“He relocated to the North when the war started.” She glanced away from him. The act was more than just leaving; he’d fled as fast as he could and never once looked back. “Said he wanted to preserve his business interests.”

“I should think leaving you behind is a decision he will regret but once,” he kissed her hand again, “and that will be continually.”

She smiled and looked back to his curiously bluish green eyes. His gaze was direct, much too steady to be appropriate.

She liked that.

A rustle behind her drew her attention.

Sarah, mouth pursed in so tight a line her lips nearly disappeared. “Martha has finished the noon time dinner preparation, General Stuart, if you’d care to follow me.” Her glare switched to Elizabeth. “Miss Archer.”

“Mrs. Cooke.”

Sarah narrowed her eyes in response, then flounced from the parlor. Her heavy footsteps echoed down the hallway.

Elizabeth bit back a giggle and glanced at General Stuart. “As the notable Mr. Shakespeare wrote in, As You Like It, ‘Let us make an honorable retreat.’”

He coughed, probably to cover his laughter, and offered her his arm. She slid her hand over the crook of his elbow, the gray wool of his uniform rough under her fingertips. The dining room was the next room on the eastern wing of the house. If she could have found a way to take a longer route down the hall, perhaps up the stairs, past the bedrooms, and then back down the servant’s staircase, she would have done so, just to enjoy his company a little longer.

 

Author Bio:

Heather Hambel Curley was born in West Virginia and raised in Western Pennsylvania. She graduated magna cum laude from Robert Morris University with a degree in Communications in 2004. Heather has been involved with Civil War reenacting since 2001. In 2004, she volunteered at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park with the living history and archeology departments. Currently, she is a corseted living historian with the Baltimore Light Artillery, a group of historians who provide artillery demonstrations in parks such as Harpers Ferry, Gettysburg National Military Park, and Antietam National Battlefield. Heather resides in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. She is a member of Pennwriters and the Historical Novel Society.

Website / Facebook / Twitter

GIVEAWAY!

Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

A Forest of Wolves by @Chelsea_Luna_ #TuesdayBookBlog #YA #bookreview


a-forest-of-wolves-final

 

Title: A Forest of Wolves (The Uprising #2)

Author: Chelsea Luna

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance

 

Book Blurb:

Prague, 1610

 

In a few short weeks seventeen-year-old Mila has gone from being Ludmila Novakova, pampered daughter of the High Chancellor of Bohemia, to becoming a traitor escaping the palace at midnight in her wedding nightgown. Her country is in chaos, an army is marching from Austria, and revolution is a breath away.

 

Mila is caught in the middle, between the man she loves—Marc, the son of a blacksmith and a leader of the rebellion—and the murderer the Church calls her husband. Even as she flees with Marc into the heart of the resistance, where the suspicions of angry citizens make her every palace-born habit a danger, she knows he hasn’t told her everything.

 

But Mila is keeping the biggest secret herself: she is the heir to the throne, the daughter of embattled King Rudolf and Princess of Bohemia. The truth will turn the fury of both sides against her, leaving Mila alone to win her country’s freedom—and her own . . .

 

“A realistic historical novel with a fairy-tale feel.” —School Library Journal

 

My Review:

The Rebellion in Bohemia has begun and Mila is on the run with her beloved Marc. He rescued her from the castle and the clutches of her murderous husband (at least in the eyes of the Catholic Church), only to find herself in the midst of poverty and untrusting peasants. It’s a harsh reality for Mila but this is only the beginning.

 

A letter from Ludmila’s mother reveals a shocking secret: she is the sole heir to the throne. She confides in Marc’s brother (Henrick) and he promises to protect her with his life. Her friendship blossoms with Henrick and when Marc confronts her about it, she’s torn. But everything comes crashing down when old enemies threaten everything Mila hold dear (including her life). Who cares about the future when you’re in the fight of your life?

 

While this is darker than Lions in the Garden, I understood why Luna set the tone of the book in bleary shades of grey. It’s a revolution and Mila is at the heart of it. We get to feel her loneliness, isolation and grief. So much death, so much torture, so much blackness.

 

The torture and graphic detail of beatings were a touch excessive for me. I had to skim over those scenes, so be forewarned.

 

Luna did her research and history is bleeding from these pages. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say I was reading an autobiography. The war between Catholics and Protestants was one of the bloodiest in history yet many believers have no idea. I’m telling every Christian to read this book because it’s that important.

 

I loved the tenderness between Mila and the two brothers. There’s an undercurrent that I hope Luna expands on in the next book. Yes, there’s a book three and I can’t wait to read it! I’m hooked on these characters and have to wait patiently for the next installment.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Lyrical Press (Kensington Books) for giving me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

 

Favorite Quote:

“It was officially hunting season on anyone who considered themselves to be a Protestant. The Crown was no longer doing their evil deeds in private; they were now blatantly displaying their hatred for all to see. We had finally reached a point at which both sides would not, and probably could not, turn back.

 

The audacity of the warning infuriated the men. What did this person do — other than be a Protestant — that would warrant such a cruel death? Who would do such a thing?

 

I could name a few.” -Mila

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Read on Amazon

Read with iBooks for iPad

Read with GooglePlay

Read with Kobo

Buy at Barnes & Noble

Goodreads

 

chelsea luna

 

Author Biography:

Chelsea Luna is the author of the bestselling NEW ENGLAND WITCH CHRONICLES, a young adult paranormal romance series comprising of four novels. Chelsea is also the author of the bestselling LOVE & THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, a young adult horror trilogy.

 

Chelsea received a Juris Doctorate from New York Law School in New York, New York in 2007, and a B.A. in Sociology, with a concentration in Criminal Justice, from the University of Tennessee in 2004. She lives in Tennessee.

 

Social Media Links:

Like Chelsea Luna on Facebook

Follow Chelsea Luna on Twitter

Visit Chelsea Luna’s Website

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

The Master and the Maid by @LauraLibricz #FridayReads #BookReview #ASMSG


the-master-and-the-maid

 

Title: The Master and the Maid

Author: Laura Libricz

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance

 

Book Blurb:

She’s lost her work, her home and her freedom. Now, harboring a mysterious newborn, she could lose her life.

 

In 17th Century Germany on the brink of the Thirty Years War, 24-year-old Katarina is traded to the patrician Sebald Tucher by her fiancé Willi Prutt in order to pay his debts. En route to her forced relocation to the Tucher country estate, Katarina is met by a crazed archer, Hans-Wolfgang, carrying a baby under his cloak. He tells her an incredible story of how his beloved was executed by a Jesuit priest for witchcraft right after the birth and makes Katarina—at sword point—swear on her life to protect the child. But protecting the child puts Katarina at risk. She could fall in disfavor with her master. She could be hunted by the zealots who killed his beloved. She could be executed for witchcraft herself. Can Katarina’s love for the baby and Sebald Tucher’s desire for her keep the wrath of the zealots at bay?

 

Set in Franconia, The Master and the Maid is an accurate, authentic account of a young woman’s life in Germany in the 1600’s, her struggle for freedom and her fight for those she loves.

 

My Review:

This book, the first of a three-part series, should have wide appeal to a broad audience.  The character of Katarina is incredibly well written and the reader quickly is drawn to her and concerned with her well being and happiness.  That is what this author does…the heart of character is easily understood by the reader.  It didn’t take two pages to realize that Raif was the scummiest scumbag, the big bad and for me to hate him immensely.  There is a real grasp of humanity in this book and the weaving of the lives of the myriad of characters into the accurately portrayed 17th century Germany is very well done.

 

For me, I was not terribly interested in the love triangle aspect of Katarina.  I do love Wolfgang and he is my favorite character so far.  The ending was sudden and letting Raif live on makes the second story a must read but I prefer a big bad destroyed in book one and a new big bad in book two but that is just me.

 

Overall a promising first book that will capture the attention of everyone who enjoys either the time period of Vikings or Game of Thrones and those who enjoy the love triangle of Twilight or even Pride and Prejudice.  I await the second book.

 

My Rating:  4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon http://amzn.to/1NwO9pe

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30126720-the-master-and-the-maid

 

laura-libricz

 

Author Biography:

Laura Libricz was born and raised in Bethlehem PA and moved to Upstate New York when she was 22. After working a few years building Steinberger guitars, she received a scholarship to go to college. She tried to ‘do the right thing’ and study something useful, but spent all her time reading German literature.

 

She earned a BA in German at The College of New Paltz, NY in 1991 and moved to Germany, where she resides today. When she isn’t writing she can be found sifting through city archives, picking through castle ruins or aiding the steady flood of musical instruments into the world market.

 

Her first novel, The Master and the Maid, is the first book of the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy. The Soldier’s Return and Ash and Rubble are the second and third books in the series.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.lauralibricz.com/

Blog https://lauralibriczblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LauraLibriczAuthoress

Twitter https://twitter.com/LauraLibricz

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-libricz-8980a43a

Instagram https://instagram.com/lauralibricz/

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/lauralibricz/

Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3c-yIyoN-UprxB15L5l8zA/

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

Behind the History of The Du Lac Chronicles by @maryanneyarde #history #Arthurian #books


 

Britain is a place of myths and legends. There are many stories of men and women who were exceptionally heroic. But none has captured the imagination quite like Arthur Pendragon.

 

I was blessed to grow up near Glastonbury ~ or if you prefer, The Ancient Isle of Avalon. I knew the story of Arthur from an early age, and I have been enchanted ever since.

 

However, I always felt slightly deflated by the ending of Arthur’s story. There is a terrible battle at Camlann where Arthur is mortally wounded. He is whisked away to Avalon, and that is the last that we hear of him. Likewise, his knights, if they have not already died, give up the sword enter the church and/or become hermits. I love the stories of Arthur and his knights, but I’m sorry, the ending sucks! Why would the Knights become hermits?

 

This motivated me to write The Du Lac Chronicles. I was determined to carry on the story and write about what happens next.

 

I wanted to keep the story as historically accurate as I could, but at the same time, I didn’t want to take away the legend that we love. So I studied the work of Monmouth and Malory as well as all those brilliant French poets. I wanted to know the legend inside out, and then I would bring the history of the period into the tale.

 

You cannot ignore the Saxons when you look at this era. This is their time. I needed to know about them to make this book authentic in the telling. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles was a good starting point. I spent hours cross-referencing this book with other sources and trying to figure out what was real and what was fictitious.

 

I became fascinated with Cerdic of Wessex, the first Saxon King of Britain, and I was staggered by how much he achieved. He came over and conquered the south of Britain and by AD 519 he declared himself King. He was the perfect antagonist for my knights. I had to include him in the story.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles is also set in Brittany and in fact, The Du Lac Devil, which is book 2 of the Chronicles (and will be out later on this year), is set primarily in Brittany. I needed to get a handle on Dark Age Brittany as well as Dark Age Britain. I have to admit there was a moment where I wavered. I started to think that maybe I could work around Brittany and not include it in the story. I was reading the most fantastic myths about Brittany, but not so many facts. However, in the legend, Lancelot comes from Brittany. So it made sense for his sons to come from there as well.  I waded through the myths as best as I could, and I came across a fascinating king called Budic and as I read about him, I realised he was exactly what I had been looking for. Budic is often associated with the legendary King Ban of Benwick. I wanted Budic and his castle in my story. So he is!

 

I also discovered that the trade links that the Romans had initiated, for the most part, remained in place. Brittany continued to have strong ties to Britain. The Breton language has striking similarities to the Celtic and Gaelic language of the mainland. One can assume that not only did the British trade with Brittany, but they also moved there and in some instances took control of parts of the country. Cornouaille, which was the kingdom that Budic ruled, seemed to have had direct trade links with Cornwall, maybe he had family there as well?

 

I talk a great deal about Cornwall – or Cerniw as it was known then – in The Du Lac Chronicles. Cornwall has a long association with Arthurian Legend and with the apparent links to Brittany I felt it needed to be included, which is why Budic’s brother Alden, ruled this beautiful kingdom.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles is set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, and I wanted to create a story where the knights did not end up in monasteries and then disappeared into the shadows of history. I wanted to write about what happened after Arthur died. In particular, I wanted to write about the changing ‘Saxon’ world that these knights now found themselves in.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles follows – through the eyes of Lancelot du Lac’s sons – Cerdic of Wessex’s campaign to become High King. The world the du Lac’s had known was to be changed forever by this one man’s determination to enslave the kingdoms under the Saxon yolk. In my story, these men, these knights, do not die easily, and they certainly do not become hermits!

 

The Du Lac Chronicles 10 Feb 2016 KINDLE

 

Title: The Du Lac Chronicles

Author: Mary Anne Yarde

Genre: Young Adult Medieval Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

“It is dangerous to become attached to a du Lac. He will break your heart, and you will not recover.”

So prophesies a wizened healer to Annis, daughter of King Cerdic of Wessex. If there is truth in the old crone’s words, they come far too late for Annis, who defies father, king, and country to save the man she loves.

Alden du Lac, once king of Cerniw, has nothing. Betrayed by Cerdic, Alden’s kingdom lies in rubble, his fort razed to the ground and his brother Merton missing, presumably dead. He has only one possession left worth saving: his heart. And to the horror of his few remaining allies, he gives that to the daughter of his enemy. They see Annis, at best, as a bargaining chip to avoid war with her powerful father. At worst, they see a Saxon whore with her claws in a broken, wounded king.

Alden has one hope: When you war with one du Lac, you war with them all. His brother Budic, King of Brittany, could offer the deposed young king sanctuary—but whether he will offer the same courtesy to Annis is far less certain.

 

Excerpt:

It was a poor meal, Alden thought as he broke off the meat and handed some to Annis. They would need something more filling than a small bird if they were to survive. He wondered if they dared try and find a village to stock up on supplies, not that they had any coins to buy anything with. It was a bad idea, really, for nobody liked beggars, and they would probably be hounded out of the village by pitchforks. Still, he had to think of something. He frowned as he chewed. Kent was an option. It was close and he was on good terms with the king. They would be safe in Kent and it wasn’t that far away. Yes, Kent. He had wanted to reach Cerniw, but Kent was a better option, especially if Cerdic’s men were raping the place, as Bors had suggested.

 

“We are heading for Kent,” Alden announced, his mind made up. It was a logical plan.

 

Annis lowered the meat she was about to put in her mouth and looked at him.

 

Alden popped some more meat into his mouth and chewed slowly.

 

“Kent?” Annis asked. To her, Kent was as far away as the moon. She had never stepped foot out of the lands that surrounded her father’s castle.

 

“I need to know what is going on. King Oeric has always been an ally and he has a good fleet of boats.”

 

“But you could be caught. My father will have placed men at the border. Surely he will guess you will head that way,” Annis argued.

 

“I was caught last time because I surrendered. I can promise you, I will not be caught again. And as for your father, he knows as well as I that there are several places I could go. I do not doubt that Kent has crossed his mind. But this time, I am looking for him, so the way I see it, I have the advantage.” He frowned. “Eat,” he ordered, popping some more of the meat into his mouth. “I will not have it said that I starved you.”

 

She brought the meat halfway to her mouth again and stopped. “How long will it take to get to Kent?”

 

“A day, maybe less, depending on the weather.”

 

“And if the weather isn’t kind?”

 

Alden laughed. “Forever the pessimist,” he mocked gently. “If the weather isn’t kind then I am guessing it will take longer.”

 

Annis blushed. “I know that,” she mumbled. “I’m sorry for being…” Her words faded into nothing as she sat and stared at the flames.

 

“For being what?” Alden queried.

 

“Oh nothing, forget I said anything. It was a stupid question and…”

 

“And?” he encouraged, noting her change of tone and the way she would not look at him.

 

“And I know I am not very good company and I slow you down, and if it wasn’t for me you would probably be in Kent by now.” He tried to interrupt, but she would not let him for she had too much to say. “I cannot cook to save my life. I have no idea how to look after myself. If anything happened to you, I would die within days. My father is a monster. My body feels like it has been trampled on by a herd of raging horses. I am dirty. I smell. And I hate my knees,” she huffed.

 

“Your knees?” Alden asked, bemused, for he had not expected such a torrent of words from her and being a mere man, he did not really understand her point.

 

“Never mind my knees. You are right. I am a pessimist. I learned very early on not to look forward to things, because then, I would not be disappointed if they did not happen. And I have had a great many disappointments. I hate my hair. I hate curls. I hate the fact that I am a Saxon. Sometimes I hate myself. And now I am rambling, and no doubt making a fool of myself. I am completely useless, am I not?”

 

“You lost me with the knee thing. Can you repeat the rest again?”

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Du-Lac-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01CDK2MK0

Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/Du-Lac-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01CDK2MK0

 

Mary Anne Yarde Head Shot

 

Author Biography:

Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury–the fabled Isle of Avalon–was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

At nineteen, Yarde married her childhood sweetheart and began a bachelor of arts in history at Cardiff University, only to have her studies interrupted by the arrival of her first child. She would later return to higher education, studying equine science at Warwickshire College. Horses and history remain two of her major passions.

Yarde keeps busy raising four children and helping run a successful family business. She has many skills but has never mastered cooking–so if you ever drop by, she (and her family) would appreciate some tasty treats or a meal out!

 

Social Media Links:

author@maryanneyarde.com

 

https://www.maryanneyarde.com/

 

Twitter @maryanneyarde

 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/maryanneyarde/

 

Blogspot http://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Amazon Author’s page http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Yarde/e/B01C1WFATA/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

A Certain Age: A Novel by NYT Bestselling Author @bcwilliamsbooks #bookreview #fiction


A Certain Age

 

Title: A Certain Age

Author: Beatriz Williams

Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

The bestselling author of A Hundred Summers brings the Roaring Twenties brilliantly to life in this enchanting and compulsively readable tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal in New York Society, brimming with lush atmosphere, striking characters, and irresistible charm.

As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. An intense and deeply honorable man, Octavian is devoted to the beautiful socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband.

But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor. Engaging a longstanding family tradition, Theresa enlists the Boy to act as her brother’s cavalier, presenting the family’s diamond rose ring to Ox’s intended, Miss Sophie Fortescue—and to check into the background of the little-known Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the pretty ingénue, even as he uncovers a shocking family secret. As the love triangle of Theresa, Octavian, and Sophie progresses, it transforms into a saga of divided loyalties, dangerous revelations, and surprising twists that will lead to a shocking transgression . . . and eventually force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.

Full of the glamour, wit and delicious twists that are the hallmarks of Beatriz Williams’ fiction and alternating between Sophie’s spirited voice and Theresa’s vibrant timbre, A Certain Age is a beguiling reinterpretation of Richard Strauss’s comic opera Der Rosenkavalier, set against the sweeping decadence of Gatsby’s New York.

 

My Review:

Every decade or so, I read a book so richly-told, so lush in its characters and setting, so captivating, I’m completely spellbound. I even dream about the characters and when I’ve finished reading the last word, my heart overflows with emotion. It’s a total emersion of mind, body and spirit and my life is just a little bit better for reading it. This is such a book.

 

First of all, my gratitude goes out to the author and to William Morrow for publishing this beautiful book and for giving me a complimentary ARC in exchange for my honest review.

 

It’s roaring twenties in glitzy New York and we first meet Mrs. Theresa Marshall, socialite extraordinaire and her younger lover, Octavian. She loves him and he her but like many wealthy women, divorce is unthinkable. So, they meet in secret and whisper sweet nothings in the dark.

 

Sophie Fortescue, on the other hand, is just starting out in life and engaged to be married. Her intended? None other than Theresa’s brother, Ox. She’s all innocence and purity… or is she?

 

Four people’s lives intertwine in this breath-taking story, where lovers become enemies and secrets buried six feet underground unearth themselves to disastrous consequences. Will Sophie find love in Ox’s arms or someone else perhaps? When the dam breaks and the truth is revealed, will Theresa choose life or love?

 

I loved this story, that much is clear by my opening sentences. Williams grabs the reader by the shoulders and plunges them deep into New York City in the 1920’s. We experience what life was life for a woman in the roaring 20’s. There’s a murder to be solved, a mystery to unravel and before we know what hit us, Williams adds layer upon layer of intrigue.

 

I was so engrossed in the storyline one afternoon, I almost burned a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Scandalous, I know.

 

If F. Scott Fitzgerald were alive, I believe he’d give Williams a nod of approval. In my opinion, this is a must-read for readers of all genres. There’s a great romance, murder, mayhem and so much more!

 

Favorite Character:

I must admit, it’s a toss up between Sophie and Theresa. Both women tell their stories through the reflection of their glamorous life, surrounded by men who love them. Both women are strong, stronger than any female protagonists I’ve ever read, and yet deep down, they carry insecurities and deep, dark secrets. I loved them both!

 

Favorite Quote:

“Love, like chicken salad or a restaurant hash, must be taken with blind faith or it loses its flavor.”

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

All Worldwide Links: http://beatrizwilliams.com/?page_id=2772

 

Beatriz Williams

 

Author Biography:

A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, Beatriz spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a corporate and communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons. She now lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore, where she divides her time between writing and laundry.

 

Visit her online at www.beatrizwilliams.com , on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/beatrizwilliamsauthor , and on Twitter at @bcwilliamsbooks.

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Resolution: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure by Andrew Joyce @huckfinn76 #BookReview #FridayReads


Resolution

 

Title: Resolution: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure

Author: Andrew Joyce

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

It is 1896 in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The largest gold strike in the annals of human history has just been made; however, word of the discovery will not reach the outside world for another year.

 

By happenstance, a fifty-nine-year-old Huck Finn and his lady friend, Molly Lee, are on hand, but they are not interested in gold. They have come to that neck of the woods seeking adventure.

 

Someone should have warned them, “Be careful what you wish for.”

 

When disaster strikes, they volunteer to save the day by making an arduous six-hundred-mile journey by dog sled in the depths of a Yukon winter. They race against time, nature, and man. With the temperature hovering around seventy degrees below zero, they must fight every day if they are to live to see the next.

 

On the frozen trail, they are put upon by murderers, hungry wolves, and hostile Indians, but those adversaries have nothing over the weather. At seventy below, your spit freezes a foot from your face. Your cheeks burn–your skin turns purple and black as it dies from the cold. You are in constant danger of losing fingers and toes to frostbite.

 

It is into this world that Huck and Molly race.

 

They cannot stop or turn back. They can only go on. Lives hang in the balance–including theirs.

 

My Review:

This book is a very good read and nicely stands alone by itself.  One really doesn’t notice that it is the third book of a series.  As an avid reader who enjoyed Tom Sawyer waaaaay back in the day, it took me a couple of head shakes to be able to accept Huck and Tom as the late middle-aged lawmen come adventurers but this book really made it believable.

 

I loved how the author portrayed western action – gun fights etc. – that was pure brilliance. This author could write Zane Grey like westerns and they would be fantastic reads.  I really liked Huck and Molly (and Tom when he was around) and the book was a great read.  Fans of adventure and edge of your seat thrillers can’t do better than this book.

 

For me, I had tiny issues with the number of challenges that Huck and Molly faced in their adventures.  It seemed like it was never going to stop.  To my mind, simply living in -70 degree weather for many many days in a row seemed to be beyond human endurance.  If it wasn’t the cold, it was a storm, a mountain, a fall through ice, a wolf pack. I got a wee weary of that continual threat but that is my own issue.

 

The book is a superb read and very well written and one that will take the reader on an epic adventure with a beloved literary character who has grown up.

 

 

My Rating:  4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Resolution-Huck-Finns-Greatest-Adventure-ebook/dp/B01E83YVJA

 

Andrew Joyce

 

Author Biography:

 

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written four books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, RESOLUTION. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, YELLOW HAIR.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://huckfinn76.com/

Twitter http://twitter.com/huckfinn76

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-Joyce/595023267193024?ref=hl

Blog http://andrewjoyce.wordpress.com/

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

The Pitchfork Rebellion: The Du Lac Chronicles by @MaryAnneYarde #bookreview #MFRWAuthor


The Pitchfork Rebelion

 

Title: The Pitchfork Rebellion: The Du Lac Chronicles – Novella

Author: Mary Anne Yarde

Genre: Young Adult Medieval Fiction, Arthurian Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

From the author who brought us The Du Lac Chronicles…

 

When the devil wanted to destroy the world he would do so with fire. Alden du Lac knew this for a fact, because the devil had come to Cerniw.

 

Alden may have driven the man who tortured him from his lands, but he can do nothing to drive him from his dreams.

 

Alden has become bitter, angry and unrecognizable to those who love him. The only person whom could possible bring him back from the brink is his younger brother Merton. But even Merton is at a loss as to what to do.

 

As Alden seemingly wars with himself, there is a new threat to the kingdom. A threat that nobody foresaw, or could have possibly predicted…

 

The adventure continues in this beautiful novella.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles – The Pitchfork Rebellion from Mary Anne Yarde is a new story based on Arthurian Legend and the great historical/fantasy fiction tradition of Bernard Cornwall, C.M.Grey and Kim Headlee.

 

The Pitchfork Rebellion has a recommend reading age of 14+

 

My Review:

Alden and Annis have returned to Cerniw but it’s far from wedded bliss. Alden is drowning in his own guilt and can’t stand to look at his wife, no matter that she needs him desperately.

 

Nightmares haunt Alden and the demon in his dreams is Annis’ father, Wessex. Hatred for the Saxon burns in his belly and nothing helps. He abandons his pregnant wife, turning a blind eye to the animosity that his people have for his new wife.

 

Merton, meanwhile, knows Annis is in danger and does everything in his power to protect her. She’s very pregnant and both her and the unborn child are in jeopardy, thanks to unrest in Cerniw’s people. He tries to make Alden see the truth but Merton fails to break through the darkness. It’s only when the people revolt that Alden sees what he must do.

 

I’m a huge fan of this series and while this is a darker story, I loved it. Alden’s guilt, Merton’s devotion, Annis’ torment all combine to make this a captivating read. Historically accurate, realistic character development and a bridge between book one and book two (releasing Fall 2016) all combine in this well-executed novella. I’m waiting with bated breath for the next installment.

 

If you love historical/Arthurian fiction, pick this up! It’s only 99c/p.

 

Favorite Character:

Merton. He’s the shining light in this dark short story. He’s protective of Annis and takes care of her while Alden broods. He’s patient with Alden and tries to talk sense to him. He’s quickly becoming my favorite character in this series.

 

Favorite Quote:

“I don’t want them to follow me because they are afraid. If we do that then I am no better than Wessex.” ~ Alden

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Pitchfork-Rebellion-Lac-Chronicles-Novella-ebook/dp/B01ENJONZQ

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pitchfork-Rebellion-Lac-Chronicles-Novella-ebook/dp/B01ENJONZQ

 

Mary Anne Yarde Head Shot

 

Author Biography:

Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury–the fabled Isle of Avalon–was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

 

At nineteen, Yarde married her childhood sweetheart and began a bachelor of arts in history at Cardiff University, only to have her studies interrupted by the arrival of her first child. She would later return to higher education, studying equine science at Warwickshire College. Horses and history remain two of her major passions.

 

Yarde keeps busy raising four children and helping run a successful family business. She has many skills but has never mastered cooking–so if you ever drop by, she (and her family) would appreciate some tasty treats or a meal out!

 

Social Media Links:

author@maryanneyarde.com

 

https://www.maryanneyarde.com/

 

Twitter @maryanneyarde

 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/maryanneyarde/

 

Blogspot http://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Amazon Author’s page http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Yarde/e/B01C1WFATA/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

A Lady in the Smoke by @karen_odden #bookreview #TuesdayBookBlog


A Lady in the Smoke

 

Title: A Lady in the Smoke

Author: Karen Odden

Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

Karen Odden’s enthralling debut historical mystery transports readers to Victorian England, where a terrifying railway disaster plunges a headstrong young noblewoman into a conspiracy that reaches to the highest corridors of power.

Following a humiliating fourth Season in London, Lady Elizabeth Fraser is on her way back to her ancestral country estate when her train careens off the rails and bursts into flames. Though she is injured, she manages to drag herself and her unconscious mother out of the wreckage, and amid the chaos that ensues, a brilliant young railway surgeon saves her mother’s life. Elizabeth feels an immediate connection with Paul Wilcox—though society would never deem a medical man eligible for the daughter of an earl.

After Paul reveals that the train wreck was no accident, and the inspector who tried to prevent it dies under mysterious circumstances, Elizabeth undertakes a dangerous investigation of her own that leads back to her family’s buried secrets. The more she learns, the more she must risk. Not only are her dowry and her reputation at stake; Paul’s very life hangs in the balance when he is arrested for manslaughter. As the trial draws near, and Parliament prepares for a vote that will change the course of the nation, Elizabeth uncovers a conspiracy that has been years in the making. But time is running out for her to see justice done.

 

My Review:

Lady Elizabeth and her mother are traveling by train back to their estate from London when the train careens off its tracks. Elizabeth wakes up to her mother unconscious with a broken ankle and Elizabeth herself has a gash on her forehead. They somehow make it off the train and a gentleman doctor helps them by the name of Paul Wilcox.

 

Over the next few days, while her mother is recovering, she helps the young doctor who saved her and her mother’s life. There’s an immediate attraction between the two even though they come from different social circles. Elizabeth doesn’t tell Paul her title because she enjoys being treated like a normal woman and she knows Paul will withdraw if he found out. But like everything in Victorian England, the truth eventually comes out.

 

Meanwhile, Elizabeth discovers the train accident she endured was on purpose. In fact, there’s quite a few train derailments and it’s politically driven. The more Elizabeth and her new-found acquaintance reporter (a friend of Paul’s) unearth, the more long-buried family secrets emerge. When Paul is arrested for manslaughter, Elizabeth must risk her reputation and life as she knows it to save the man she loves.

 

I loved this mystery! It’s filled with suspense, twists and turns, not to mention a sweet romance between Paul and Elizabeth. I love trains and the Victorian age. Karen Odden draws you into Elizabeth’s world. The supporting cast of characters add such richness to this story and the mystery held my mind captive. Who is behind the railroad sabotage and murders? The courtroom scenes left me breathless and the ending was satisfying.

 

If you like historical fiction, especially Victorian, with dashes of mystery and romance, this book is for you! I look forward to more from Karen Odden.

 

Thank you to Random House Publishing Group – Alibi and Netgalley for giving me a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QP3ROVY

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-lady-in-the-smoke-karen-odden/1121503320

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-lady-in-the-smoke 

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-lady-in-the-smoke/id1059208868 

 

Author Biography:

Karen Odden’s interest in the Victorian era and specifically railway crashes goes back to her New York University doctoral dissertation, which explored how the medical, parliamentary, and literary representations of railway disasters helped to create a discourse out of which Freud and others fashioned their ideas of “trauma.”

Karen has served as an Associate Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and taught classes in English language and literature at New York University and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She has contributed essays and chapters to books and journals, including Studies in the Novel, Journal of Victorian Culture, and Victorian Crime, Madness, and Sensation; and she has written introductions for Barnes and Noble’s Classics Series editions of books by Dickens and Trollope. Prior to receiving her Ph.D. in English, she worked as an Editorial Assistant at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and McGraw-Hill, as a Media Buyer for Christie’s Auction House in New York, and as a bartender at the airport in Rochester, where she learned how to stop being shy. She is a member of SCBWI and Mystery Writers of America; and she currently serves as an Assistant Editor for the academic journal, Victorian Literature and Culture (Cambridge UP).

Karen currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband, her two children, and her ridiculously cute beagle, Rosy.

 

Social Media Links:

Website https://t.co/EcTLDHsQeU

Twitter https://twitter.com/karen_odden

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N